MBBS, MS - Ophthalmology, DNB - Ophthalmology , Fellowship in Cornea and Anterior Segment, Fellowship in Phacoemulsification
You correctly answered out of 5 questions
Which gland is responsible for normal tearing in humans?
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Immediately above and to the outer side of each eye is the tiny lacrimal gland. It continuously creates small amounts of tears. When the eyes blink, the tears spread over the front of the eye and keep it moist. The lacrimal gland contributes to the aqueous layer of the tear film. Apart from tears, it secretes proteins and electrolytes that nourish and protect the ocular surface. The gland is under neural control and is regulated through a natural reflex arc. Tears that are secreted by lacrimal gland are significant because they cleanse and protect the eyes by keeping it moist and lubricated.
Who are the most affected by excessive tearing?
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Excess tearing or having watery eyes all the time is quite common in babies due to the blocked tear duct. The tear ducts in babies are too narrow to handle the gland s secretions. Moreover, the tears are thick and gunk and thus cause the blockage. For older adults, the tear ducts narrow with age, making it inconvenient for the tears to drain away. This makes the eyes watery, and in some cases causes infection under the skin between the nose and the eye. For babies with gunk and teary eyes, all that is needed to be done is cleaning the gunk with cotton wool pad and warm water.
Ectropion and Entropion can cause watery eyes.
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In elderly or aged people, the eyelashes can turn inward, scratching the eyeball and making it wounded and watery. Surgery can correct this condition called Entropion. Ectropion, on the other hand, is when lower eyelashes of seniors droop outwards; the tear, then drops out of the eye instead of draining along the tear ducts. Irritants such as onion and fumes from machines, infective conjunctivitis, allergic conjunctivitis, a piece of dirt or grit which gets stuck in the eyes, and blocked tear ducts are other causes for watery eyes. Usually, a doctor readily identifies the cause through a simple examination. Therefore, excessive secretion of tears should encourage patients to consult with a doctor.
A blocked tear duct is treated with a surgery called dacrocystorhinostomy (DCR).
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Dacrocystorhinostomy is a procedure that can deal with excessive tearing arising from a blocked tear duct. A very tiny probe is pushed through the blocked tear duct to unblock it. The operation is worth it only if watering is severely affecting the activities of daily living. Doctors recommend this course of action when patients have an infection due to the blocked tear duct. The surgery is accompanied by its own set of risks; hence, surgery should be taken up only when every detail of the condition is known.
Usually, the cause of watery eyes cannot be identified by the doctor on simple examination.
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In most of the cases, the doctor is able to understand the cause of excessive watering through a simple examination. If there is no conclusion, the doctor may ask the patient to undergo some tests. This depends on the severity of the tearing condition. He may ask for an x-ray report to know exactly where the blockage is. It is essential for the doctor to know all the symptoms like tearing, itching, burning, etc. to diagnose the problem accurately.