The Evolving Story of CNLDO: Serial Photographic Documentation and Parental Perspectives

Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg. 2023 Jan-Feb;39(1):88-91. doi: 10.1097/IOP.0000000000002242. Epub 2022 Jul 13.


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to report the temporal sequence of symptomatology of bilateral congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction and parental perspectives of 2 established lacrimal surgeons studying the natural history of their newborn child.

Methods: Prospective observational report. Once epiphora was noted, a daily assessment and documentation of several symptoms and signs were initiated using iPhone 11 pro camera. These include epiphora, associated discharge, tear meniscus level, matting of lashes, day-night variation in symptomatology, difficulty in eye-opening upon waking up, conjunctival congestion, periocular changes, especially in the tear trough area and lateral canthus, changes in symptom severity with time, regurgitation on pressure over lacrimal sac area, the fullness of the lacrimal sac area or palpable lacrimal sac swelling, and other associated clinical findings.

Results: The weekly course of congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction showed similar patterns in OU, although the phase of severe symptoms was spaced by a 6-week interval between the eyes. The epiphora appeared first, followed by rapidly increasing discharge, the severity of which was alarming to the parents. Periocular skin developed excoriation due to persistent epiphora and cleaning attempts. Focused and regular lacrimal sac compressions resulted in abrupt resolution of epiphora at different time points in each eye. The baby was comfortable when compressions were performed during breastfeeding. Cleaning the discharge regularly can be a daunting task for the new parents. The use of wet 'eye wipes' was more effective and comfortable than a cotton bud or cloth piece. Both the parents were lacrimal surgeons, and they did not overtly feel socially embarrassed due to the congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction, but questions from family and friends were discomforting.

Conclusion: Parental perspectives of the temporal sequence of congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction provide better insights into disease management and counseling.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dacryocystorhinostomy* / methods
  • Eye Abnormalities*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lacrimal Apparatus*
  • Lacrimal Duct Obstruction* / congenital
  • Lacrimal Duct Obstruction* / diagnosis
  • Lacrimal Duct Obstruction* / therapy
  • Nasolacrimal Duct* / surgery
  • Tears