Nasolacrimal duct anomalies are problems with tear duct development that many babies are born with. Tear ducts are tiny tubes near the inner corner of the eyes that carry tears from the surface of the eye into the nose to drain.
Blocked tear ducts are common, and many cases improve without treatment within a year. Other tear duct anomalies are more serious and cause long-term blockage and infection that can spread to the eye.
The main cause of nasolacrimal duct anomalies is some type of obstruction, including:
Newborns usually show symptoms of nasolacrimal duct anomalies within a few weeks of birth. These include:
Often, your baby’s pediatrician will be able to diagnose nasolacrimal duct anomalies and, if needed, will refer to an ophthalmologist for proper management.
Nasolacrimal duct anomalies often clear up without surgical treatment, in the first 6-to-8 months of age. When treatment is necessary, the options we recommend at Children’s National include:
Learn more about our Ophthalmology program at Children’s National.
Our specialized pediatric ophthalmologists are experts at recognizing and treating complex eye conditions in infants and children.
Invest in future cures for some of life's most devastating diseases
Share your birthday with a child. Celebrate your life, and give a chance to someone who desperately wants to have as many as you.
How ECMO helped Emilee not only survive, but thrive.
Read More of Emilee's Story
Learn more about the causes, symptoms and treatments for ptosis and other eyelid abnormalities.
Learn more about the causes, symptoms and treatments for hypertropia, a condition that causes the eye to drift upward.
Learn more about the causes, symptoms and treatments for esotropia and exotropia, misalignment of the eyes.