Excessive watering of the eyes is called epiphora. Overflow of tears is a result of insufficient drainage of tear film from the eye. The most common cause for epiphora is blockage of tear ducts and the condition may also be the result of excessive tear production.
Epiphora is a symptom of eye disease. It can be acute, chronic or congenital.
Chronic epiphora: Long standing or continuous disorder results in chronic epiphora. Treatment is required in chronic cases.
Acute epiphora: Temporary condition such as a foreign body in the eye, eyestrain, emotional stress, and deprivation of sleep results in acute epiphora. Acute case heals itself; treatment is required depending on the severity of the condition.
Congenital epiphora: Some children are born with congenital epiphora because tear duct drainage system is developed incompletely. It disappears within 6 months but if it remains then treatment is necessary.[/expand]Causes of Epiphora
The two most common causes of epiphora are:
• Blockage in the drainage system of the eye.
• Increased production of tears.
Causes of blockage:
• Some babies are born with blocked or underdeveloped lacrimal ducts.
• Infections or scars from old injuries block the drainage system of the eye.
• Eyelid deformities cause obstruction of the flow of tear.
• Abnormal growth of the nasal bone presses against the tear duct and obstructs it.
• Mucous membranes of the ducts get atrophied.
Over-production of tears can be caused by:
• Dry eye syndrome.
• Foreign body in the eye
• Cold wind.
• Lack of sleep.
• Looking at bright lights.
• Ingrown eyelashes or an injury to the eye.
• Tears on the cheeks and in the eyelashes.
• Red, irritated eyelids.
• Mucus or pus-like discharge from the lacrimal duct openings.
• A tender lump and redness on the inner corner of the eyelid.
• Blurred vision.
• Dye tests
• Syringing and probing
• Macro dacryocystography (MDCG) and scintigraphy
• Canalicular Endoscopy
• Silicone tube is inserted in case of canalicular damage or a narrow upper nasal cavity.
• Canaliculi are repaired microsurgically.
• In case of functional blockage lid shortening and punctal snip procedures is done.
• Balloon dilatation dacryoplasty.
Longstanding cases of epiphora may result in infection of the eyes and vision is impaired in some individuals.
Epiphora is managed by surgery. If it is due to lid disorder then it is repaired surgically.
In order to restore lacrimal drainage, dacryocystorhinostomy a surgical procedure is done to join the lacrimal sac to the nasal mucosa.
In nasolacrimal defects, either temporary or permanent tube replacement is done.
• Burning of the margins of the lid.
• Feeling of sand in the eyes in the evening.
• Pulsating and throbbing eye pain after midnight.
• Light sensitivity.
• Eyelids are stuck together by yellow discharge in the morning.
• Symptoms better in the cool open air.
• Redness of eyes with thin and acrid tearing which is worse at night.
• Increased light sensitivity.
• Aggravation during night.
• Eyelids stick together in the morning.
• Eyes are painful in the evening with a sensation of sand in the eyes with frequent watering.
• Constant burning in the eyes with a feeling of dryness.
• Hot scalding tears.
• Eyes irritated, burning with acrid and profuse tearing.
• Light sensitivity with intense blinking.
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