Dacryocystitis is a commonly found eye issue in infants and adults over 40 years. It is an infection that develops in the tear sacs or lacrimal sacs in the inner corner of the eye. The usual reason behind dacryocystitis is the blockage of the nasolacrimal duct. This duct carries tears from the lacrimal sac into the nasal cavity. This eye infection can be acute or chronic.
TYPES AND SYMPTOMS OF DACRYOCYSTITISSince the symptoms of dacryocystitis are similar to other eye infections, it becomes important to get it checked and properly diagnosed. There are two types of dacryocystitis:
1.Acute Dacryocystitis:In acute dacryocystitis, the area surrounding the eyes becomes red and the tear sacs swell up. You can see a pus-like formation in that area that would look watery. Even the slightest pressure on the tear sac can rupture it. With a few days of drainage, the puss almost fizzes out. If not dealt properly, acute dacryocystitis can proliferate. Although it can heal get quickly with antibiotics, a checkup with a doctor is required.
2.Chronic dacryocystitis:In chronic dacryocystitis, tearing occurs along with a bulge. Issues like redness and swelling in the inner corner of the eye are pretty visible. The person might complain about fever as well. This kind of eye infection may need surgery that would widen the tear duct drainage channel. In some of the cases, doctors may require imaging tests like CT scan in order to figure out the intensity of the dacryocystitis. The disease is most common in babies as there are chances that they may be born with a blockage in their tear duct. Possible causes of blockage in tear duct:
- Eye or nose injury
- Sinus inflammation
- Nasal surgery
- Growth inside nasal polyps
TREATMENT OF DACRYOCYSTITISIn cases where the eye infection is treatable, the patient can use a warm compress on the outer part of the eye. Warm compress assists in opening up the ducts. One can apply these compresses several times a day. If the pain persists, it is suggested that a medical professional is consulted. Depending upon the intensity of infection, the doctor may recommend surgery. Usually, surgery helps in bypassing the blockage (dacryocystorhinostomy [DCR]). It is done with an expectation that post-surgery, this infection has negligible chances of reoccurring.
COMPLICATIONS RELATED TO DACRYOCYSTITISIn infants, congenital dacryocystitis has higher chances of spreading into the eye socket. This can ultimately lead to life-threatening complications such as :
Meningitis:The inflammation of the membranes around the spinal cord and the brain
Sepsis:A condition caused by the body's reaction to any kind of an infection
Brain abscess:A cluster of pus in the brain