The Dry Eye Zone

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Abstract: Age & epiphora (tear overflow)

Ophthalmologe. 2009 Mar;106(3):229-34.
[Epiphora. Age-related changes of the ocular surface, eyelid function and the efferent tear ducts][Article in German]
Schaudig U, Meyer-Rüsenberg HW.
Augenklinik, Asklepios Klinikum Barmbek, Hamburg, Deutschland.

Symptomatic epiphora is predominantly present in the elderly It is caused either by hypersecretion in ocular surface disorders, mostly as a reflex, by decreased tear transport and mechanical stenosis of the efferent tear ducts. These three different causes have to be taken into consideration by differential diagnosis and lead to different forms of therapy. Ocular surface disorders (wet dry eye) are treated by topical medication, lid malfunctioning and dacryostenosis by surgery and possibly by topical adjuvant anti-inflammatory medication. The present article reviews the current concepts on epiphora as an age-associated symptom and the epidemiology and pathogenesis of dacryostenosis and dacryolithiasis.