Certain factors increase your risk of developing a blocked tear duct:

  • Age and sex. Older women are at highest risk of developing blocked tear ducts due to age-related changes.
  • Chronic eye inflammation. If your eyes are continually irritated, red and inflamed (conjunctivitis), you're at higher risk of developing a blocked tear duct.
  • Previous surgery. Previous eye, eyelid, nasal or sinus surgery may have caused some scarring of the duct system, possibly resulting in a blocked tear duct later.
  • Glaucoma. Anti-glaucoma medications are often used topically on the eye. If you've used these or other topical eye medications, you're at higher risk of developing a blocked tear duct.
  • Previous cancer treatment. If you've had radiation or chemotherapy to treat cancer, particularly if the radiation was focused on your face or head, you're at higher risk of developing a blocked tear duct.
Feb. 13, 2013

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