How Do Doctors Diagnose Epiphora?
Epiphora is the medical term for watering eyes. It is a symptom of a condition and not a health condition itself. When you have excessive tear production, the tears can flow onto the face and cause blurry vision. Some people may also experience a discharge from the eye. Constantly wiping the tears can cause redness and soreness on the top lid and sagging lower eyelids.
What Do Tears Do in the Eye?
Tears are mainly used as a lubricant for your eyeball and help supply nutrition to the surface of the eye. Tears are also used to disinfect bacteria and protect the eyes from ultraviolet rays. There are three layers to tear film that sits on the top of the eye.
The oily outer layer keeps the tears from drying too quickly. The middle layer keeps the eyes wet and provides nourishment to the tissue. The inner mucous layer helps the tear film stick to the eye. Tears enter the eye from small openings at the end of the lacrimal glands that are located underneath the skin of the upper eyelid.
There is a small tear duct on the upper and lower eyelid of each eye called the punctum. These act like valves to help remove tears from the eye.
Tears are mostly made of salt and water. As you blink, the liquid spreads across the eye. The eye also has glands at the edge of the eyelids that make oil. This oil floats on top of the watery fluid in the tears and keeps the tears from evaporating too quickly. The eye also has openings near the nose called the tear ducts that help the tears drain from the eye and to your nose.
Different forms of epiphora can develop. For example, your eye may make too much fluid, or the puncta may be blocked, causing you to develop watery eyes.
Causes of Epiphora
When your eyes are irritated, they can produce more tears than normal. This helps the body to rinse away the irritant. Several irritants are known to cause the overproduction of tears, including chemicals, conjunctivitis or pink eye, injury, and fumes, such as from an onion.
When the eyelashes grow inward or the lower eyelid turns outward, this can also be an irritant that causes the overproduction of tears. Other environmental factors that can temporarily increase tear production include smoke, wind, yawning, laughing, or vomiting.
Blocked tear ducts can also cause epiphora, or watery eyes. In older children, this can occur alongside other symptoms, such as swelling, crusting, redness, or blurred vision. The most common condition that causes watery eyes in older children and adults is a blocked tear duct or one that is too narrow. When the tear ducts have been blocked or narrowed, the tears do not drain.
A narrowing of the puncta or canaliculus, part of the tear duct system, is called punctal stenosis or canalicular stenosis. Trauma or exposure to certain drugs can trigger the development of stenosis and epiphora.
In advanced cases, epiphora is not reversible. Weekly use of the drug is not uncommon, so patients must be screened for stenosis and symptoms of epiphora to ensure timely management and treatment that reduces the potential the condition will become permanent.
It is also important that your family and caregivers avoid coming into contact with the bodily fluids you excrete after chemotherapy treatment to protect your loved ones from developing these symptoms.
Diagnosis of epiphora is relatively easy. The physician must determine the cause of the blockage to the tear ducts or the overproduction of tears to treat the condition. In most cases, a lesion, infection, inward growing eyelash, or outward turning eyelid will be found on examination.
The doctor may insert a probe into the drainage channel to determine whether it’s blocked and may use liquid to determine whether the fluid drains out the nose. In some cases, intraocular pressure is measured since congenital glaucoma and adult glaucoma can present with symptoms of watery eyes.
Contact Hotze Runkle PLLC Today If You Have Epiphora After Taking Taxotere
If you developed epiphora, or other adverse reactions such as permanent hair loss or painful nail side effects, after taking the chemotherapy drug Taxotere, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. We understand that a cancer diagnosis puts you under a physical, emotional, and financial burden that can be overwhelming. We want to help you seek justice.
While most chemotherapeutic agents are primarily intended to fight cancer growth, they may cause severe side effects. Epiphora is a known and documented side effect of Taxotere. However, when the side effects are not disclosed by the drug companies to the doctors, or by the doctors to the patients, it can place yet another burden on the health and wellness of the patient.
We can help inform and educate your doctor about the case, to make sure this stops happening to others and that you get the kind of medical attention you deserve. We will also advise you on how to work with your doctor to get the documentation you will need for your case, including a medical history that documents pre-existing conditions.
Our compassionate and experienced legal team has an unwavering commitment to serving our clients from all over the United States. We use diligent attention to your case both inside and outside the courtroom to hold the manufacturers of Taxotere accountable if you have experienced epiphora. Visit our Video FAQ page to learn more about the case and our firm.
Call the Taxotere attorneys of Hotze Runkle PLLC today at (800) 763-6155 or, better yet, fill in our Online Case Evaluation Quiz and a member of our team will get in touch to let you know how we can put our skills to work for you.