Tearing, or watering, eyes are most commonly caused by narrowing, or a complete blockage, of the tear duct resulting in recurrent inflammation or infection. Allergies, trauma, disease, use of eye drops and, rarely, tumours can also cause tearing eyes.
Sufferers may experience blurred vision, excessive tearing and sore skin. A sticky, mucous discharge may occur.
A surgical procedure called Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) is performed which involves the surgeon making a new passage between the tear sac and the nose, thereby bypassing any blockage. This allows tears to drain normally again.
There are two types of DCR surgery, external (through the skin) and endoscopic (from within the nostril). Surgery may be performed under a general or a local anaesthetic and your consultant will discuss the best treatment options with you in advance.
You will be able to go home the same day as your procedure. You may experience some bleeding from the nose and patients who have an external DCR will have dressing placed around the side of the nose.
External DCR may result in mild scarring on the side of the nose. Cuts usually heal well and become almost invisible within 3 - 6 months.
Your surgeon will advise when you should return to normal activities.
DCR is generally a very safe operation. Nonetheless, all surgery and anaesthetic have some risk associated. Risks to all surgeries include infection, excessive bleeding, adverse reaction to anaesthetic or blood clotting.
Bleeding from the nose or the tissues around the eyes can occur. Usually bleeding is light and settles quickly.