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.