Assessment and management of proximal and incomplete symptomatic obstruction of the lacrimal drainage system

Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol. 2012 Jan;19(1):60-9. doi: 10.4103/0974-9233.92117.


Epiphora is a common complaint of patients who present to an Ophthalmology Clinic. In many cases, epiphora is due to an obstruction in the lacrimal drainage system. However, a subgroup of symptomatic patients with epiphora has a patent lacrimal drainage system. Such cases are usually termed 'functional obstruction' and / or 'stenosis of the lacrimal drainage system'. Various etiologies and diagnostic and therapeutic approaches have been described in literature, which implies the lack of a standardized approach. This article will review the evolving diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in literature, and in the end, propose a paradigm in approaching this group of patients.

Keywords: Canalicular stenosis; Epiphora; Functional lacrimal obstruction; Nasolacrimal duct; Punctal stenosis; Stenosis.