Epiphora, also known as a watery eye or excessive eye tearing, is a condition causing involuntary discharge of tears from the eye. It is an embarrassing problem because it can make a person appear like they are crying and require constant tissue dabbing to dry excess tears. There are many different causes of epiphora ranging from a simple foreign body like an eyelash on the eye, ocular allergies, or blockage of the duct responsible for draining eye tearing. There are many different causes of epiphora and that’s why you need to see a nose specialist at Houston Advanced Nose & Sinus. Dr. Kuperan is one of the few fellowship certified Rhinologists in all of Texas with specialized expertise, experience, and skills in treating patients with all causes of epiphora.
There are two major causes of epiphora. There is either an excessive production of tears or inadequate drainage of the tears that are produced. The causes of excessive tear production include foreign body in the eye, ocular allergies, eye strain, and sleep deprivation or stress. The causes of inadequate drainage of tears are more complicated. Generally, there is a blockage of the tear duct drainage system including the tear sac and lacrimal duct which ultimately drain inside the nose. This is why when you cry, your nose runs. These structures become blocked as a result of inflammation from infections of the tear sac or lacrimal duct called dacryocystitis. Concerning symptoms associated with dacryocystitis that can lead to epiphora include:
If epiphora becomes a persistent problem it is always essential to consult a Rhinologist immediately for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. For ocular allergies causing increased tearing, antihistamine eye drops are used to decrease inflammation and irritation. In addition, nasal endoscopy (looking inside the nose with a small camera) is essential to better assess the problem and determine if there is a tear sac or lacrimal duct infection. Often there is discolored drainage noted inside the nose where the lacrimal duct opens. The lacrimal drainage system may need to be flushed and irrigated to restore patency. A fluorescein (a colored dye) test may be performed to assess if there is adequate movement of tears from the eye into the nose via the lacrimal duct system. If there is inadequate drainage of the colored dye then a procedure called an endoscopic dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) is performed to open the tear sac. This procedure is performed by opening the tear sac from inside the nose and restoring normal drainage pathways without any visible facial incisions or scars. The key is choosing an approach tailored to the severity and cause(s) of your epiphora. There is not one single solution that is correct for every patient, and that’s why Houston Advanced Nose & Sinus is unique. We don’t promote a “cookie-cutter” approach to treatment like some other practices. Dr. Kuperan’s super specialized expertise and experience as a Rhinologist will make sure you get the best treatment to quickly resolve your epiphora.
At Houston Advanced Nose & Sinus we attend to a number of patients with epiphora and prescribe the right course of treatment for the problem. We have unique comprehensive efficient treatment plans for every patient including cutting-edge technology for painless in-office nose procedures with sedation, and first-class post procedure recovery suites that are unique nationally. All delivered to you by an advanced nose and sinus specialist who cares deeply about getting your epiphora under control. If you wish to learn more about epiphora treatments or schedule an appointment, call (832) 720-NOSE or email us.