Lacrimal sack inflammation

Introduction - Inflammation of the Lacrimal Sack

Inflammation of the tear sacs (Dacryocystitis) is defined as an acute or chronic inflammation of the bags under the eyes, which are part of the so-called drainage ducts.

The tear sac is located under the skin in a small bone groove at the inner corner of the eyelid. People of all ages can be affected. Especially small children, as their tear drainage pathways cannot be fully developed. The same applies to people of older age, as they can produce insufficient tears.

Read more on the topic: Inflammation of the bags under the eyes

Detecting inflammation of the lacrimal sac

What are the symptoms of eye bags inflammation?

The signs of a acute Lacrimal sacs are generally localized inflammations. This includes swelling and redness that can spread to surrounding structures such as the conjunctiva and lower eyelid. In addition, there is usually pain that can also radiate over the local inflammation area, e.g. in the cheek area.

Pus can develop, which can already be seen on the inner corner of the eyelid or which empties after applying gentle pressure to the tear sac.

The chronic Inflammation of the lacrimal sack often occurs in older patients, with recurring inflammation (so-called Recurrences). Then the symptoms can also be less pronounced because the reaction of the body is no longer as intense.

In addition, symptoms of a flu-like infection such as fever or chills can occur if the course is severe. At this point at the latest, a doctor should be consulted urgently.

How is tear sack infection diagnosed?

This is usually clear based on the location and nature of the symptoms. In addition, the attending physician should clarify any involvement of other structures such as the paranasal sinuses.

In order to be able to apply a meaningful antibiotic therapy, a smear should also be taken in order to be able to identify the type of bacteria.

Treating eye bags

How is eye bags treated?

This usually includes a procedure appropriate to the severity of the inflammation and the age of the patient. In around half of the cases, antibiotics are not necessary or they can be waited up to 3 days after the symptoms have started. In the case of infants and small children, you should first wait for the Hasner flap to open. Decongestant eye ointments or drops can be given to adults. In addition, moist compresses with disinfecting properties can support the natural healing process. In the case of severe or longer courses, antibiotic therapy should be started after a corresponding antiobiogram (sensitivity to antibiotics of the bacterial species identified). In addition, if necessary, the tear ducts can be rinsed with physiological saline solution under local anesthesia by a doctor.

If the conventional forms of therapy do not work properly, surgery may be advisable. This is also called Dacyrocystorhinostomy and can be done in two ways. Either the tear sac is opened within the nose itself with the help of a thin-caliber endoscope or a connection from the tear sac to the nose is artificially placed from the outside.

Preventing tear sack inflammation

What are the causes of eye bags?

Usually the cause is an obstruction to the drainage (Stenosis) of the draining lacrimal ducts at the exit of the lacrimal sac or at the further deep-lying nasal passage. This is used in medical jargon Nasolacrimal duct called. It leads the tear fluid from the tear sac into the nose where it can evaporate due to breathing.

A special case of drainage obstruction concerns infants affected by tear sack inflammation. With them, the exit of the lacrimal duct is still closed by the Hasner valve. This usually opens spontaneously, but not in the affected infants. So there is a backlog of the tear fluid and thus mostly an inflammation.

This obstruction of the drainage alone would not lead to an inflammatory reaction of the body, but the subsequent infection by pathogenic (pathogenic) Microorganisms are the cause. These have mostly risen from neighboring structures such as the nasal cavity or the paranasal sinuses and, thanks to the stagnant flow of tear fluid, find a rich breeding ground for their growth. Usually these are bacteria of the Stapylococcus aureus or Pneumococcus species, but fungi can also penetrate the tear sac and lead to inflammation.

The introduction of dirt particles into the tear ducts by rubbing the eyes in small children can also promote infection. Therefore, careful hygiene should be observed in order to effectively prevent infections.

How can tear sack infections be prevented?

A large part of the tear sacs are idiopathici.e. the causes are unclear.

In the other cases, underlying diseases such as Sicca syndrome can be treated, as dry eyes and the associated lack of flow of tear fluid through the tear duct are a good possibility for infectious pathogens.

As with any disease caused by bacteria or viruses, careful hygiene should be maintained to reduce the likelihood of infection.