Tears moisten and clean the eyes. Tear ducts drain excess tears away from the eyes. Blocked tear ducts are unable to drain tears. Bacteria may then become trapped in the ducts and cause an infection called dacryocystitis.
Symptoms of dacryocystitis include increased tearing, redness and swelling, and drainage. The eye may be tender and look irritated. Pain may be felt in the mouth, cheeks, and other areas of the face. Some children have a fever.
Dacryocystitis must be treated as soon as possible to prevent the infection from spreading. Children usually recover quickly. In rare cases, a doctor needs to unblock the duct or drain the infection.
Medications: The doctor will prescribe medications for infection, fever, and pain. Follow the doctor’s instructions for giving these medications to your child. If your child is receiving an antibiotic, give all the medication until the prescription is finished, even if symptoms go away.
Gentle massage of the tear duct helps relieve the blockage. Follow instructions you are given for how to massage the tear duct. This must be done gently, moving from the top of the eye downward.
Apply warm, moist compresses to the area for 10 to 20 minutes several times a day. This will help reduce irritation and infection. The compresses should be warm but comfortable to the touch.
Wash your hands well before and after taking care of your child to avoid spreading infection. Be sure to keep your nails trimmed to avoid scratching the area.
Watch your child for signs of worsening infection (given below).
as advised by the doctor or our staff.
Get Prompt Medical Attention
if any of the following occur:
Fever greater than 100.4°F (38°C)
Continued tearing, irritation, or pain
Signs of worsening infection such as continued redness or swelling, worsening pain, or foul-smelling drainage from the affected area