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Lacrimal Diseases and Surgery


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The lacrimal system is the area of your eye and eyelids that controls tear production, distribution, and drainage. If there is a problem with any of these, you can experience tearing. Our ophthalmologists at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute treat all lacrimal diseases, including:

  • Dry eye syndrome (keratoconjunctivitis sicca)
  • Meibomian gland dysfunction (clogged oil glands on the eyelid)
  • Chalazion (a small lump in the gland of an eyelid)
  • Blepharitis (scaly, dandruff-like material along your eyelashes)
  • Eyelid malposition - eyelashes turning out, inward, or lateral canthal tendon disinsertion
  • Trichiasis (eyelashes touching the eye)
  • Lagophthalmos (inability to close the eyelids)
  • Punctal stenosis (small opening to tear drain)
  • Canalicular or nasolacrimal duct obstruction (blocked tear drain)
  • Canaliculitis (infection of tear drain)
  • Dacryocystitis (infection of tear sac)
  • Lacrimal system malignancies

While they vary according to the specific condition, symptoms of lacrimal disease can include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Burning, stinging, or a gritty sensation
  • Itching
  • Light sensitivity
  • Redness in the eyes
  • Swelling of the eyelid
  • Tearing – continuous or intermittent
  • Watery eyes
  • Yellowish discharge


Comprehensive Exam - Your doctor will conduct a thorough physical examination of your eyes – as well as gather a complete health history – to determine if you have a lacrimal disorder.


Conservative Treatment - Warm compresses and eyelid scrubs can help treat clogged oil glands and clear dandruff-like material off the eyelashes.

Artificial Tears - Over-the-counter eye drops – such as artificial tears – can help provide soothing (yet temporary) relief for symptoms, such as burning and itching.

Ointment - Your ophthalmologist may prescribe an ointment that you can apply at night to help manage the symptoms of your lacrimal condition.

Antibiotics - Your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic medicine to clear any infection that has caused your lacrimal disorder.

Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) Procedure - If you have a tear duct obstruction, you may need to undergo surgery to create a new tear duct – called a dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) – that will alleviate the tears flowing onto your face.

Other Surgical Procedures - If you have a chalazion (lump), you may need to undergo an in-office surgical procedure to remove it. The chalazion is drained from the inside of your lid after your surgeon injects a small amount of local anesthetic.

If your eyelids are not in the proper position, you may need to undergo surgery to correct this so that you can close your eyes and blink your eyelids better.

If eyelashes are rubbing against the surface of your eye, your doctor will discuss with you options to permanently remove the lash follicle, including electrolysis and freezing therapy.

Why Choose Bascom Palmer Eye Institute?

Ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report. Bascom Palmer Eye Institute is the top-ranked facility in the country for the treatment of diseases and disorders of the eye, according to U.S. News & World Report. When you choose us for your eye care, you will receive the best care in the nation in a compassionate setting.

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