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Dacryocystitis : Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosed, Treatment and Prevented

Nov 02, 2023

Dacryocystitis : Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosed, Treatment and Prevented

Dacryocystitis is defined as the inflammation and infection of the tear sac. It is also referred to as the lacrimal sac, and it joins your nasolacrimal duct, your tear duct. Your tear system is made up of each of these components.

If everything functions normally, tears will come out of your eyes, go through the duct, and enter your nasal passages.

Dacrocystitis develops as a result of the blockage in the pathway. The blockages are in the nasolacrimal duct, the sac, or the channels that the tears pass through. When the tears stop flowing, the liquid they are containing could stagnate and then become infected.

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What Is The Cause Of Dacryocystitis?

Dacryocystitis is brought on by a blockage in your tear duct. Your nasal cavity cannot receive tears from your eyes because of these obstructions.

In newborns, the obstruction is caused by a membrane that obstructs the duct. There are several reasons why young people and the elderly may face obstacles.

Acquired dacryocystitis is caused by the following factors:

  • Growing older: Adults who are older than 40 are more likely to get cryocystitis.
  • Trauma, including bone fractures or nose surgery.
  • Several illnesses, such as infections, inflammations like sinusitis, and immune system malfunctions.
  • Possessing a peculiar nasal anatomy.
  • Cancers.
  • Certain medications: These include the antiviral trifluridine, the glaucoma medications pilocarpine and dorzolamide, the blood pressure medication timolol, and the cancer medications fluorouracil, docetaxel, and radioactive iodine.

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What Are The Types Of Dacryocystitis?

There are two forms of dacryocystitis: acute and chronic. In general, the difference is time. After it first appears, acute dacryocystitis often goes away in less than three months. Chronic dacryocystitis is a persistent condition.

Chronic dacryocystitis is more commonly linked to autoimmune and systemic (whole-body) illnesses. Sarcoidosis, granulomatosis with polyangiitis, and lupus (also known as systemic lupus erythematosus) are a few of these. People who have chronic dacryocystitis may also experience chronic pink eye or conjunctivitis.

The pathogens (dangerous agents, including bacteria or viruses) in the two categories could differ from one another.

Dacryocystitis can be acquired or congenital (existing from birth) in addition to being acute and chronic.

The inadequate evacuation of amniotic fluid from the tear system during birth is the main cause of congenital dacryocystitis. Neonatal dacryocystitis is the outcome of this fluid being infected.

Acquired dacryocystitis may also result from medication usage, tumors, surgeries, and bone fractures.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Dacryocystitis?

Dacryocystitis symptoms and indicators can include:

  • Eye discomfort.
  • Surrounding your eye to swell.
  • Skin becomes red or darker.
  • A sore or abscess in the inner corner of your eyelids that can be releasing pus.
  • A fever.

Compared to acute dacryocystitis, chronic dacryocystitis may present with less severe signs and symptoms. In the chronic version, you might not have a temperature and experience watery eyes.

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How is Dacryocystitis Diagnosed?

If your illness affects your nose, your doctor may be able to determine it in part by asking you about your medical history and by examining the appearance of your eyes.

Testing might include:

  • Examining the eyes.
  • Examine the fluid that appears from the punctum, the tear-producing aperture in the corner, by touching the larger area of your eye.
  • Collecting a sample from any discharge for laboratory culture in an attempt to pinpoint the precise bacterium causing the ailment.
  • Obtaining a sample of blood to calculate the white blood cell count. (An illness may be indicated by higher numbers.) If blood testing is necessary to identify the underlying cause of your eye condition, your practitioner may also suggest it.
  • Injecting a yellow dye to observe whether your tear production corresponds to the normal tear pattern. You can have a blockage if it takes a long time to disappear. Should a sample taken from your nose show the dye, you might have a partial obstruction.
  • Imaging studies to identify dacryocystitis's underlying causes.
  • If you have eye problems or have had a hemorrhage in your tears, more testing might be necessary.

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Treatment Of Dacryocystitis

Your doctor may recommend oral or intravenous (IV, or in the vein) antibiotics if you have bacterial acute dacryocystitis. They may also recommend drops or ointment containing antibiotics.

Some of the symptoms can be alleviated by applying warm compresses. Another option is to give the region a light massage. After taking antibiotics for a few days, you ought to feel better.

Tear duct infections can be treated with these antibiotics:

  • Amoxicillin-clavulanate.
  • Cephalexin.
  • Ciprofloxacin.
  • Clindamycin.
  • Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole.

Recurrent episodes of newborn dacryocystitis in infants are likely to resolve within a year.

If you have acute dacryocystitis, your doctor may recommend surgery known as a dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) after you take the antibiotics. The main treatment used by doctors for chronic dacryocystitis is DCR. The DCR procedure opens up a new channel for tears.

The following problems can arise from treatment-related complications for dacryocystitis DCR:

  • Excessive blood loss
  • Infection
  • Sinus inflammation.
  • Damage to any area of your nose or eyes.

Also Read: 

Amblyopia: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

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How Can Dacryocystitis Be Prevented?

What you can do to prevent dacryocystitis is rather limited. On the other hand, thorough hand cleaning and refraining from touching your eyes might help try to prevent infections. You can also take precautions to avoid sick people and crowded areas.

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