What causes blockage or inflammation in the tear duct?

Blockage or inflammation in the tear duct can cause watering, discomfort and compromised vision. This disorder is known as ‘Primary acquired nasolacrimal duct obstruction (PANDO)’ and is more common in 40+ age group women. Currently, it is treated through surgery, but in most cases it reoccurs. The actual cause of this very common problem is still relatively unknown. The LVPEI research team led by Dr Mohammad Javed Ali and Dr Inderjeet Kaur studied the tear samples of patients and compared them with tear samples collected from healthy eyes. The findings have indicated that abnormal secretion of  ‘Cytokines’ (a large group of proteins, peptides or glycoproteins)  by specific cells or hormones that regulate defence from injury or infection or wound healing and blood vessel formation in the eyes are responsible for this disease. This research paper titled ‘Alteration of Tear Cytokine Expressions in Primary Acquired Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction – Potential Insights into the Etiopathogenesis’ was published in ‘Current Eye Research’. A detailed assessment of these cytokines would further help to define better treatment methods for the management of this disorder.

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