A congenital lacrimal obstruction is a condition that can affect up to 5% of newborns. This can then put the infant at risk of developing a variety of health problems. Risk factors that can lead to this congenital condition include Down syndrome, hemifacial microsomia, or Goldenhar syndrome. To learn more about treatment for congenital lacrimal obstructions in Boston, contact Glavas Center today.
What Is a Congenital Lacrimal Obstruction?
A congenital lacrimal obstruction is a blockage in the lacrimal drainage system, which is located between the patient’s eyes and nose. In most cases, the blockage can be found at the valve of Hasner, which is at the distal end of the nasolacrimal duct. While the majority of cases involving congenital lacrimal obstruction are congenital, this is not always the case.
This blockage can lead to a wide range of respiratory and even ocular issues, with extreme cases showing distension between the eyes and nose.
Signs of a Congenital Lacrimal Obstruction
When children start showing signs of a congenital lacrimal obstruction, symptoms can include an increase in mucous discharge, as well as a lacrimal lake increase. The excessive shedding of tears can also be observed; this is called epiphora. Other signs include the chapping of the periocular skin, which is the skin around the eyes.
What Causes a Congenital Lacrimal Obstruction?
Some infants are born with an increased risk of developing a lacrimal obstruction. Development can occur due to the presence of a membranous cyst in the duct or maldevelopment of the punctum and canaliculus. This issue can also occur when the nasolacrimal duct sac was filled with clear amniotic fluid at some point during the delivery process.
Who Is Most at Risk of Developing a Congenital Lacrimal Obstruction?
While aq congenital lacrimal obstruction can occur among otherwise perfectly healthy infants or children, there are risk factors that can increase the likelihood of the obstruction occurring. These risk factors include:
- Down syndrome
- Goldenhar syndrome
- Clefting syndromes
- Hemifacial microsomia
- Midline facial anomaly
Parents with children who have these health conditions are advised to schedule a consultation once they start showing signs of a possible congenital lacrimal obstruction.
The presence of a congenital lacrimal obstruction can be detected within days of the mother giving birth to the infant. For older children, when parents notice symptoms, it is important to schedule a consultation as soon as possible. This will allow parents to address the condition quickly.
Congenital Lacrimal Obstruction Treatment
Massaging of the area can be an effective non-surgical option for treatment of a congenital lacrimal obstruction. Eye drops, ointments, or oral antibiotics may also be considered.
If the blockage does not go away with the help of these methods, pressurized probing and irrigation may be performed. For more severe cases, balloon dacryoplasty or nasolacrimal duct intubation may be necessary. These options can be discussed during a consultation.
Schedule Your Consultation
Find out more about congenital lacrimal obstructions in Boston by contacting Glavas Center to schedule a consultation. Any questions or concerns can be addressed during the visit.