Diseases of the lacrimal apparatus of the eye

The lacrimal glands perform a very important function – they produce a special fluid that moistens and cleanses the eyes.

Diseases of the lacrimal system are diseases that affect only one or all of its components: the lacrimal gland itself, the excretory ducts and the lacrimal ducts.

These diseases include:

  • dacryoadenitis – inflammation of the lacrimal gland;
  • epiphora – copious discharge of lacrimal fluid from the eyes, which goes beyond the boundaries of normal;
  • stenosis (narrowing) or inflammation of the tear ducts .

The reasons

Diseases of the lacrimal gland can be congenital (improper development of the gland) and acquired, be the result of any inflammatory diseases (flu, scarlet fever, parotitis (mumps), etc.), tumors and injuries.

Diseases of the lacrimal ducts can be associated with nerve damage, infectious diseases, tumors, inflammatory diseases of the eyes (conjunctivitis, etc.) and nose. Foreign bodies (eyelashes, worms) can also cause a violation of the outflow of tears. There are also congenital underdevelopment of the lacrimal canals.

How to recognize?

If a baby has a swollen upper eyelid almost from birth, constant lacrimation or a complete absence of tears, a fever, most likely he has congenital problems in the lacrimal system.

Acute inflammation of the lacrimal gland traditionally occurs in infants and young adults. Inflammation can be unilateral or bilateral and even involve the salivary glands. The main signs of the disease are swelling and pain in the outer part of the upper eyelid. With severe swelling, it can be difficult for a person to open the affected eye, and the eyeball may shift and be constrained in movements. In addition, headaches are detected, sleep and appetite worsen, and the temperature rises.

The main manifestation of the pathology of the lacrimal ducts is constant lacrimation, which intensifies in the wind and cold. As a result, the skin around the edges of the eyelids becomes reddened.


The diagnosis is established by the ophthalmologist on the basis of examination and questioning. To determine the location of the lesion of the lacrimal apparatus, a dye liquid is injected into the lacrimal canal with a small syringe and, by the nature of its release, it is determined whether there is a lesion of the lacrimal organs. If a tumor or injury is suspected, an x-ray may be needed.


It will be necessary to treat diseases of the lacrimal apparatus, especially in the case of congenital underdevelopment of organs, in a timely and correct manner, since the accumulation of tears can lead to suppuration and the spread of infection to the eye and brain.

In acute inflammation of the lacrimal gland, physiotherapy procedures (UHF), drugs in the form of ointments and drops are used. At the same time, the underlying disease that caused the inflammation is treated.

Treatment of diseases of the lacrimal apparatus consists in eliminating the cause of the disease, general strengthening treatment, if necessary, a surgical operation and artificial expansion of the lacrimal ducts are performed.

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