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To repair a blocked tear duct medication may be used. If this does not relieve your symptoms, a surgical procedure called a dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) is used. During the surgery, your tear duct passageways will be opened, allowing your tears to drain normally once again. Operating on the tear duct drainage system requires an expert surgeon. Dr. Caroline Vargason is an oculofacial plastic surgeon who specializes in this surgery.

What Are Watery Eyes?

Watery eyes are when your eyes produce excessive tears, and they cannot drain properly. This may be due to allergies, dry eyes, inflammation, a blockage in the tear ducts.

Typically, tears are drained through the nasolacrimal duct. This duct goes beneath the skin, through the bones of the face, and then into the nose. If there is a blockage along this track, your tears will be unable to drain, and your eyes will begin to water. 

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Nava Face & Eye 

Dr. Caroline Vargason created Nava Face & Eye to deliver patient-focused Oculoplastic Surgery care to the Idaho community. Dr. Vargason started her medical journey as a student at UCLA. She then completed her residency in Ophthalmology at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute before being picked for a prestigious 2-year American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery fellowship at the Cincinnati Eye Institute. 

Nava Face & Eye is dedicated to the highest standards of care for all patients. We use modern, evidence-based medical knowledge and work with meticulous attention to detail to provide you with excellent care. If you are looking for treatment for watery eyes, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

Causes of a Blocked Tear Duct

There are several reasons you may be experiencing a blocked tear duct. Some common causes include:

  • Age: As you age the opening (puncta) that drains your tears may become smaller, leading to blockage.
  • Congenital: Some infants are born with a duct abnormality or a tear drainage system that is not fully developed.
  • Infection: Chronic eye, nose, or tear drainage system infections can lead to blockages.
  • Inflammation: Frequent inflammation in the eyes or nose can block the tear duct.
  • Injury or trauma: An injury to the area may be direct, or it may be something as small as a skin cell or dirt being caught in the area.
  • Tumor: In more rare cases, a tumor in the tear drainage system may cause blockage.

Treatment Options

In some cases, you may find your watery eyes have cleared up on their own, while in others, you may require medical intervention.

To treat watery eyes, you may require a prescription medication. This could come in the form of oral pills or eyedrops. These can be used to treat a present infection. Other methods to treat watery eyes include dilating the puncta and then flushing out the area with fluid.

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Surgery Types 

During the procedure, you may be given a general or local anesthetic. This will depend on if it’s performed as an outpatient procedure. The surgery may be performed in one of two ways:

  • External: During an external dacryocystorhinostomy, Dr. Vargason will make an incision on the side of your nose. She will then create a new passageway for tears using a small plastic tube to connect the tear duct to an opening in the nose. 
  • Endoscopic or endonasal: Dr. Vargason will use a tiny camera and surgical instruments to open your tear ducts through the nose during this procedure. This method does not require incisions. 

Your Surgical Treatment

If you are experiencing chronic watery eyes and have not found relief from other treatments, surgery may be an option. The most common surgery to treat a blocked tear duct is a dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR). During this surgery, the passageways are opened to allow tears to drain correctly. The exact steps of the procedure can vary depending on where your blockage is located. 

Recovery from Surgery 

Once the surgery is complete, you may be given a nasal spray or eye drops to help prevent infection and reduce inflammation. If your surgery includes the use of stents, you will return after six months to have them removed.

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Meet with Dr. Vargason

If you are experiencing chronic watery eyes, Dr. Vargason may be able to help. During your consultation, she can review your symptoms and determine the best form of treatment. Contact Nava Face & Eye to schedule your consultation.

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