Canaliculitis may cause tearing, discharge, red eye, and mild tenderness. Redness and tenderness are most prominent at the side of the eyelid near the nose. The symptoms can resemble those of dacryocystitis Dacryocystitis Dacryocystitis is infection of the tear (lacrimal) sac usually due to a blockage in the tear (nasolacrimal) duct. The tear sac is a small chamber into which tears drain. The usual cause of dacryocystitis... read more .
Where Tears Come From
Diagnosis of Canaliculitis
Symptoms and a doctor's examination
A doctor bases the diagnosis of canaliculitis on the symptoms and examination findings. A cloudy material can be expressed from the canaliculus when the doctor presses on it or the tear sac.
Treatment of Canaliculitis
Removal of infected material and irrigation by an ophthalmologist
Warm compresses and antibiotic eye drops
An ophthalmologist (a medical doctor who specializes in the evaluation and treatment—surgical and nonsurgical—of eye disorders) can often try to remove infected material from the canaliculus and then irrigate the infected canaliculus with an antibiotic solution. People should then apply warm compresses and use antibiotic eye drops. Occasionally, the infection requires surgical treatment to remove any blockage from the canaliculus.
Using Eye Drops and Eye Ointments
The person receiving the drop or ointment should lean back and look up. With a clean forefinger, the lower eyelid is gently pulled down to create a pocket. Eye drops are then dropped into the pocket, not directly onto the eye. When using eye ointments, a small strip of ointment is placed in the pocket. Blinking distributes the drop or ointment over the eye.