• Is my blocked tear duct caused by cancer?


    Question:

    Fifty years ago, I had tear duct surgery as I was born with one deformed tear duct. The last few years when I get a cold, I get excessive tearing that won’t drain. I realized for at least three years I’ve had a partially blocked tear duct. The first attempt of saline to be put in doesn’t go through—the second attempt it goes through perfectly. I have thick mucus in the nose. Within a few months to a year it gets blocked again. How likely would a cancerous tumor be causing this? I’m very fearful of cancer.


    Answer:

    It is unlikely you have a cancer in your tear duct given your history. An ophthalmic plastic surgeon would be able to evaluate you and decide whether an endoscopic nasal examination, MRI or other test is needed to evaluate your tear duct and rule out other causes of tear obstruction, including rare cancers.


    Answered By: