Blocked Eye Duct: Itchy, Watery Eyes
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Lois
Posted on: February 1, 2002

I was told I have a plugged tear-duct. I went to an eye doctor when it was infected and he probed in it and made the infection worse, ended up on an antibiotic. He suggested a replacement. (I’m not running to surgery.) Another eye doctor told me to live with it. I did read on the internet to massage and sometimes it comes back. That sorta worked for a while. What I am wondering is there an herb that could perhaps help the watery and itchy eyes?

A blocked tear duct can be caused by bacterial infection, rhinitis, polyps, congenital abnormality or trauma to the nose. It is important to determine the cause. The blockage usually does result in infection. To avoid risk of future eye damage, you should continue to consult an eye doctor.

To avoid or to help clear infection, take a good multivitamin daily, plus an extra 1000 mg vitamin C and Echinacea.

Look at your diet for the possibility of food sensitivities and foods causing a mucus buildup. Avoid dairy products, as they are mucus forming and a common cause of allergies. Caffeine and alcohol may aggravate. Add plenty of fruit and vegetables to your diet for their antioxidant effect. Blueberries are especially helpful for improving the flow of blood in the small blood vessels around the eyes, and they are a good antioxidant.

Continue to massage around the duct at least twice daily.

You may get relief from itching and watering with a Chamomile compress: soak a clean cloth in a strong Chamomile tea. (2 teaspoons of dried Chamomile flowers steeped in 1/2 cup boiling water for 20 minutes) Place the warm, soaked cloth over tear duct area. If you are using Chamomile teabags, you can place the teabag over the duct after moistening with warm water.

For more information on watery, itchy eyes, please go to our website at, choose "Q&A" from the main menu, then choose "Medicinal Herbs and Their Uses" and search for the item "Tearing Eyes".

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