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Blocked tear duct

  • Alternative Names

    Dacryostenosis; Blocked nasolacrimal duct; Nasolacrimal duct obstruction (NLDO)


    The symptom is increased tearing, which overflows onto the face or cheek. In babies, this tearing becomes noticeable during the first 2 - 3 weeks after birth.

    Sometimes, the tears may appear to be thicker. The tears may dry and become crusty.

    If there is pus in the eyes or the eyelids get stuck together, your baby may have an eye infection called conjunctivitis.

    Signs and tests

    Most of the time, the health care provider will not need to do any tests.

    Tests that may be done include:

    • Eye exam
    • Special eye stain (fluorescein) to see how tears drain
    • X-ray studies to examine the tear duct (rarely done)