Review of the diagnosis and management of acquired nasolacrimal duct obstruction

Optometry. 2001 Feb;72(2):103-11.


Background: Acquired nasolacrimal duct obstruction is a common cause of epiphora. The absolute or partial blockage of the nasolacrimal duct occurs most frequently in middle-aged and elderly women. In addition to the troublesome symptom of epiphora, acquired nasolacrimal duct obstruction is predominantly the underlying cause of both acute and chronic dacryocystitis.

Methods: The primary eye care provider plays an essential role in the diagnosis and management of the patient with epiphora. The potentially serious ramifications of acquired nasolacrimal duct obstruction demand a thorough understanding of the clinical presentation of this disorder. In addition, it is essential the optometrist be well-acquainted with the surgical treatments often necessary for optimal management.

Conclusion: Whether treatment is provided or an appropriate referral is made, the optometrist is instrumental in providing care for the patient who experiences an acquired nasolacrimal duct obstruction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Conjunctiva / surgery
  • Dacryocystorhinostomy* / methods
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Intubation / instrumentation
  • Lacrimal Duct Obstruction / diagnosis*
  • Lacrimal Duct Obstruction / therapy*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Silicone Elastomers


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Silicone Elastomers