of the lacrimal glands
(the tear-producing glands). Also described as a blocked tear duct.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
dacryoadenitis is most commonly due to viral
or bacterial infection
. Common causes include mumps
, Epstein-Barr virus
, and gonococcus
Chronic dacryoadenitis is usually due to noninfectious inflammatory disorders. Examples include sarcoidosis, thyroid eye disease, and orbital pseudotumor.
- Swelling of the outer portion of the upper lid, with possible redness and tenderness
- Pain in the area of swelling
- Excess tearing or discharge
- Swelling of lymph nodes in front of the ear
Signs and tests
Dacryoadenitis can be diagnosed by examination of the eyes and lids. Special tests such as a CT scan may be required to search for the cause. Sometimes biopsy will be needed to be sure that a tumor of the lacrimal gland is not present.
If the cause of dacryoadenitis is a viral condition such as mumps, simple rest and warm compresses may be all that is needed. For other causes, the treatment is specific to the causative disease.
Most patients will fully recover from dacryoadenitis. For conditions with more serious causes, such as sarcoidosis, the prognosis is that of the underlying condition.
Swelling may be severe enough to put pressure on the eye and distort vision. Some patients first thought to have dacryoadenitis may turn out to have a malignancy of the lacrimal gland.
Mumps can be prevented by immunization. Gonococcus, bacteria can be avoided by the use of condoms. Most other causes cannot be prevented.