Physical examination for a blocked tear duct

During the physical exam for a blocked tear duct, the health professional will:

  • Look for extra tearing in one or both eyes.
  • Look for mucus or pus in the corners of the eyes and matted or crusted eyelids.
  • Look for redness or swelling in the corner of the eye near the nose.
  • Look into the person's eyes with a lighted instrument and magnifier.
  • Check the person's ability to move the eyes.

The health professional will gently massage the area at the corner of the affected eye near the nose to see if mucus or pus comes out of the duct opening. If either is present, the tear duct may be blocked. A culture and sensitivity test of the drainage may be done to check for infection.

The health professional may also look inside the nose with a special lighted instrument to check for unusual tissue growth, such as nasal polyps.

Last Updated: April 11, 2008

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