WHAT IS TEAR OVERFLOW OR EPIPHORA IN ADULT?
The definition of epiphora (or tear overflow) is a pathological flow of tears draining down the face along the cheeks. It can accompany serious infections of the nasolacrimal duct, called dacryocystitis.
Such disorder can be a simple consequence of excessive tear production, as it happens while crying; if, on the other hand, we witness a physiological production of tears, this is generally due to an obstructed tear outflow tract, or better, of that drainage system which makes the tears flow from the eye down along the nasolacrimal duct.
The obstruction of the nasolacrimal duct is a frequent pathology which is particularly irritating, which can concern patients of any age: from new born babies– in congenital forms – to adults – due to causes of various nature (infections, traumas, tumours, after cataract operations, idiopathic).
CAN I UNDERGO THE SURGERY FOR THE EPIPHORA?
Patients turn to an oculoplasty surgeon:
- Because the constant lacrimation keeps on obstructing their sight, making the daily activities such as reading, driving, using pc, literally impossible.
- Because the uncontrolled outpour of tears from the conjunctival fornix is a source of discomfort and embarrassmentfor the patient, who ‘cries’ in an incoercible way while interacting with others.
- Because the excessive lacrimation with time can cause eczema and a painful cutaneous irritation at the eyelid margin.
- Because the obstruction of the nasolacrimal duct can be a cause of some serious recurrent infections potentially dangerous for the eye.
WHAT DOES THE EPIPHORA OPERATION CONSIST OF?
Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) surgery is a procedure that aims to reinstate the patency of the lacrimal ducts, preventing the possibility of epiphora and recurrent infections.
A DCR procedure involves the opening of the nasolacrimal sac and of the adjacent bone which separates it from the nasal cavity and creating communication between the two. An incision of about 1 cm is practiced at the base of the nose near the medial canthus (internal eye margin). In most cases it is useful to insert subtle silicone tubes which serve to preserve the patency of the created communication, which are then removed within few weeks after the operation.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT? WHAT ARE THE RESULTS OF THE EPIPHORA OPERATION?
The outcome of the scar 6 months after the intervention of DCR (watery eyes correction) is practically invisible.
The procedure leaves a tiny scar quite difficult to notice, considering that the incision is small and is practiced in a shadow zone of the face, between the base of the nose and the internal eye corner. It has a very high percentage of success, close to 100%: it is able to drastically attenuate, or completely resolve, the epiphora phenomenon and the recurrent infections.
The patient is happy to be able to interact with others as before, without being embarrassed by constantly watering eyes which does not reflect his emotional state and limits his activities.
All the photographs and videos have been made by Dr. Carlo Graziani with authorisation by the very same patiences. It is forbidden to copy or reproduce in any form and for any other use all the contents found on the our web site. All rights are reserved. Dr. Carlo Graziani 2020.