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Dr. Stevens
Dr. Stevens, Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 1404
Experience:  Board Certified Ophthalmologist
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I have had a problem with my tear drainage for over 20 years.

Resolved Question:

I have had a problem with my tear drainage for over 20 years. The only thing that has dramatically helped is when I have had my tear duct openings enlarged. My tear ducts aren't completely closed but when I put eye drops in(like aza-site), I do not taste the drops in my mouth for at least 10 minutes and then I taste them the next day periodically. I think my tear drainage tubes are extremely narrow. Every eye doctor says that they only do surgery if they are completely closed. Do you have any advice about what I can do or is there any research on this? They are getting worse.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Stevens replied 7 years ago.

Hello there

is this actually causing you significant issues? Typically this condition (nasolacrimal duct stenosis or blockage) causes significant tearing, are you experiencing this currently? if so when does it occur and do artificial tears / lubricants seem to help?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Artificial tears do not work. I have tried restasis but it burns so much that it irritates my eyes more. The only medicines that help are doxycycline, erythromycin eye ointment every night, and the aza-site eye drops. I think I always have an infection in both my eyes. My eyes tear and they are also dry too. Is there any research on having narrow tubes? And yes, this is actually causing me problems. I feel a lot better when my eyes feel better.
Expert:  Dr. Stevens replied 7 years ago.
I am not aware of the research on narrowing ducts. Most ophthalmologists consider surgery even if they are narrowed and causing symptoms. HOWEVER, I am not sure that the ducts are your main issue, it seems like surface disorders such as dry eye, blepharitis lead to excess reflex tear formation at times and this can overwhelm even a normal sized duct. I have a suggestion, consider having punctal plugs (which are used for dry eye) placed to see if this significantly changes anything, if it does then your ducts are wide enough. If you feel no difference with punctal plugs, then you have narrow ducts that really function like blocked ducts and DCR surgery may be appropriate. I hope you find this helpful, Dr. Stevens
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