Tear ducts

What are the tear ducts?

The lacrimal ducts are a part of the lacrimal system. This is basically divided into two units: the secretory system and the excretory system.

  • ‍Secretory system: This is made up of the lacrimal glands, which are responsible for generating tears. They are located in the upper part of the eye, behind the eyelid.
  • Excretory system: responsible for collecting, channelling and evacuating tears. It is made up of the lacrimal points, which collect the tears, the canaliculi, which carry them towards the sacs, which are responsible for pumping them towards the tear ducts through which the tears are definitively expelled.

When a problem appears in the lacrimal system, it is very likely to be caused by an obstruction at one of these points. This means that the tear drainage is not correct and can cause constant tearing and even more or less serious infections.

Treatment of the lacrimal ducts

A problem in the tear ducts can produce either an obstruction that prevents the normal secretion of tears or the opposite, an excess of secretion that causes continuous tearing of the eye.

‍If you notice any of these symptoms, you probably suffer from a dysfunction in your lacrimal system. At our centre we have the most advanced methods for analysing tear quality. With this we will be able to find out the origin of the problem in order to tackle it at its root in the most effective way. One of the most effective methods to solve a tear duct obstruction is by probing the tear ducts.

Tear quality analysis

The tears in our eyes must have optimum properties in order to perform their function correctly, which is to lubricate the corneal surface to allow us to see properly.

It cannot be either too liquid, as this would make it evaporate more easily, causing dry eye problems, or too thick, as this would cause blurred vision. By means of an exhaustive tear analysis, we can determine the quality of the tear and provide the patient with the most appropriate treatment to improve it.

Lacrimal duct probing

Lacrimal duct probing is a technique that basically consists of unblocking the tear duct by means of a mechanical action. The obstruction prevents tears from flowing naturally into the eye. This can cause different problems, such as dry eye, or more serious ones such as internal infections. If the obstruction is mild, the procedure is performed in the same consultation room; if it is more serious, the patient will need to go into the operating theatre, but always on an outpatient basis.

The technique consists of inserting a metal probe into the tear ducts to remove the obstruction and allow the tears to drain naturally again. The procedure takes just a few minutes and the patient will notice an instant improvement.

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