Tear Duct Infection (Dacryocystitis)

Having a tear duct infection can be a real problem. Not only can it cause irritation and pain, but it can also lead to other problems such as ear infections. If you are concerned that you might have a tear duct infection, read on to learn more about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.


Symptoms of tear duct infection dacryocystitis may include a watery or red eye, pain, swelling, and fever. Acute dacryocystitis is generally treatable with antibiotics, but chronic dacryocystitis can be severe and result in an abscess. If you suffer from the disease, you can apply an antibiotic eye drop or ointment to the affected area to control the symptoms. In the meantime, you can also use an over-the-counter pain reliever to reduce the symptoms.

The most common bacterial pathogens associated with dacryocystitis are Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. They can occur in adults or children. If you have a history of recurring episodes of dacryocystitis, you may need to undergo a surgical procedure to widen the tear duct. If you have a severe case, you might need to receive intravenous antibiotics. In addition to treating the infection, your doctor can help you prevent it from spreading.

To diagnose dacryocystitis, your eye doctor may perform a physical examination and a visual exam. He or she will also do a swab in your nose to see if there are any blockages. Your doctor can also take a sample of your eye discharge to send to a laboratory for testing. A lab culture can tell you what germ is causing the infection.

Other factors that can cause dacryocystitis include trauma, medication, and abnormal tissue growth. There are several complications from a dacryocystitis infection, including cellulitis, fistula, and lacrimal fistula. Some of these complications can be life-threatening. Fortunately, most cases of dacryocystitis will clear up on their own with proper treatment.

Acute dacryocystitis typically responds to topical or oral antibiotics. In more severe infections, your doctor might prescribe intravenous antibiotics. These drugs will kill any bacteria that are causing the infection.

For people who experience mild to moderate cases, a clean, warm compress can provide relief. Try applying a warm compress to the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes. You can also massage the area with your fingers. You can also make a washcloth into a warm compress and rub it against the affected area. This will increase the effectiveness of the massage.

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor might also recommend antibiotic eye drops or ointments to reduce the pain. Some of these medications can be applied topically to the eye, while others are prescribed orally. Aside from relieving the symptoms of dacryocystitis, antibiotics will kill the bacteria that are causing the infection.

If you have a recurrent outbreak of symptoms, your doctor might perform imaging tests to see if you have an underlying disease. You might need to have additional tests if you have vision problems, blood in your tears, or blood in your urine. If you have these symptoms, you should also have a complete medical and family history.


Several treatments for dacryocystitis are available to patients. Doctors may prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection, or they may prescribe an ointment or eye drops that can be applied to the eye. In some cases, the infection may be so severe that patients need intravenous antibiotics. Alternatively, a doctor may recommend a surgical procedure called dacryocystorhinostomy. This surgery involves the removal of the bone that surrounds the tear duct. It allows for a more spacious tear duct so that fresh tears can enter the eye. This can prevent the development of recurrent infections.

To diagnose chronic dacryocystitis, your doctor will perform a physical examination. He or she will examine your eyes to find out if you have increased meniscus or tear discharge. Your doctor may also send an infectious discharge from the tear sac to the laboratory to see if it is infectious. If the test is positive, you will need antibiotics to cure the infection.

If the symptoms are not too bad, a doctor may recommend warm compresses. This will help dilate the duct and relieve the symptoms of the disease. In addition, applying an eye press can help drain the duct and reduce inflammation. If the duct has become blocked, a doctor will use an intubation tube to open it. This surgery usually takes an hour. The tube will remain in place for three to six months. If the infection is severe, you may need to visit the hospital to receive intravenous antibiotics.

A physician can also diagnose the condition by performing a blood test. The white blood cell count in the blood can be an indication of infection. This test can also be used to determine if there are any other underlying conditions that might be causing the condition.

A doctor can also examine your nose to determine if the lacrimal duct is obstructed. This can be done by swabbing the inside of the nose. If the dye disappears, it means that the duct is obstructed. If the dye does not appear, a doctor will have to perform additional tests. Often, the cause of the blockage is a blockage in the nasolacrimal duct. Other causes of duct blockage include turbinate hypertrophy.

If the duct is obstructed, it is difficult for the lubricating glands to move tears away from the eye. In this situation, a physician can use a technique known as nasolacrimal intubation. A small, thin tube will be inserted through the puncta into the nose. The duct will then be opened, allowing the tears to drain.

Acute dacryocystitis is usually treated with oral antibiotics. The antibiotics will kill the infection-causing bacteria. Oral antibiotics are generally effective, but they can be difficult to take for some people. The infection may also be accompanied by fever. If you have a fever, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Acquired dacryocystitis

During an acute dacryocystitis episode, a fever may occur. Depending on the severity of the infection, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics or give intravenous antibiotics. The goal of treatment is to eradicate the infection and to avoid it from spreading. If the infection is severe, the doctor may perform surgery to clear the nasolacrimal duct.

To diagnose dacryocystitis, the doctor will evaluate the patient’s history. This includes a thorough examination of the eye and the nose. If the doctor suspects an underlying condition, imaging tests may be performed. Occasionally, an ophthalmologist can determine the onset of the disease based on the patient’s symptoms. A blood test can also be done to look for other underlying conditions.

In addition, a dye test is performed to check for a tear duct blockage. If the dye appears on the swab in the nose, the doctor will consider the patient to have a tear duct obstruction. If the dye passes through the inside of the nose without passing through the eye, the doctor will consider the patient to have an incomplete tear duct blockage.

A warm compress can help relieve the symptoms of an acute dacryocystitis attack. The compress should be applied for 10 to 15 minutes. After the compress is applied, the area should be massaged. This can release any pus that may be oozing from the eye. In some cases, a doctor will administer a topical antibiotic, such as eye ointment. If a topical antibiotic is not sufficient, the doctor may prescribe an oral antibiotic.

During an acute dacryocystitis infection, the fluid in the lacrimal sac may become stagnant. This can make it a favorable environment for bacteria to multiply. If the fluid in the sac becomes thick, it may push through the punctum. This can cause pain and swelling. The doctor can then perform a Crigler massage to release the pus. The doctor can then send the discharge from the eye to a laboratory for testing to find the underlying causes of the inflammation.

Some of the common causes of acute dacryocystitis are trauma, infections, neoplasms, and cancer. In babies, the membrane that blocks the tear duct can also cause the condition. If the membrane is removed, the baby will likely outgrow the condition in about a year. Other common causes of acute dacryocystitis in adults are Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus species.

If the infection is mild, doctors may recommend over-the-counter pain relief medications. However, if the infection is moderate to severe, the doctor may prescribe an antibiotic. Oral antibiotics are often used for mild cases. If the symptoms persist, the doctor may use a topical antibiotic. If a patient develops visual changes or has a high fever, extra testing may be required.

The primary cause of chronic dacryocystitis is an obstruction in the nasolacrimal systolic duct. A surgical procedure, known as dacryocystorhinostomy, can widen the duct. During this procedure, a new pathway is created for tears to flow.

Health Sources:

Health A to Z. (n.d.). HSE.ie. https://www2.hse.ie/az/

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

Directory Health Topics. (n.d.). https://www.healthline.com/directory/topics

Health A-Z. (2022, April 26). Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/health-a-z-4014770

Harvard Health. (2015, November 17). Health A to Z. https://www.health.harvard.edu/health-a-to-z

Health Conditions A-Z Sitemap. (n.d.). EverydayHealth.com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/conditions/

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman is a Healthy Home Remedies Writer for Home Remedy Lifestyle! With over 10 years of experience, I've helped countless people find natural solutions to their health problems. At Home Remedy Lifestyle, we believe that knowledge is power. I am dedicated to providing our readers with trustworthy, evidence-based information about home remedies and natural medical treatments. I love finding creative ways to live a healthy and holistic lifestyle on a budget! It is my hope to empower our readers to take control of their health!

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