The bags under the eyes are anatomical structures that everyone has and which usually become noticeable when the skin ages and the bags are perceived as an aesthetic impairment. In contrast, dacryocystitis can also cause the bags under the eyes to be “uncomfortable”.
What is dacryocystitis?
The word dacryocystitis, which is used in definitions for inflammation of the lacrimal sac, is made up of several parts.
The ending -itis is typical for the inflammation. In dacryocystitis, the inflammatory process is located directly in one or both of the bags under the eyes. The inflammation in dacryocystitis usually manifests itself in a very sensitive part of the eye region.
Dacryocystitis usually occurs in the area where the so-called inner corner of the eyelid meets the upper part of the nose. Dacryocystitis occurs in both very young children and adults.
In the case of diseases of the tear ducts, to which dacryocystitis belongs, there are causes that are to be found in the infectious pathogens such as bacteria, viruses or in fine dirt particles.
In a microbiological smear, streptococci and pneumococci are predominantly found in dacryocystitis. Also staphylococci are among the pus-producing triggers of Dakryozystitis. If dacryocystitis occurs in very young children, the tear ducts, which are usually not yet fully developed, are responsible.
In addition, some young children are born with a congenital obstruction of the tear duct, so that they can immediately develop dacryocystitis. Dacryocystitis can also occur when dirt is rubbed into the outlet of the lacrimal gland by unconsciously rubbing the eyes, which then becomes inflamed.
Symptoms, ailments & signs
In dacryocystitis, a pain-sensitive area develops between the lid and the eye. This swells in the course of the disease and leads to the typical swelling and reddening of the bags under the eyes. The affected area is warmer than other areas of the face and is also much more sensitive to pressure. As a result, the affected tear sac fills with pus.
Most of the time, pus also emerges from the affected eye, which can lead to inflammation and impaired vision. In addition, dacryocystitis leads to severe discomfort in the affected person. Usually there is an increasing feeling of illness, which has a long-term effect on physical and mental performance.
In addition, there are symptoms such as tiredness, fever and, under certain circumstances, cardiovascular problems. Outwardly, the disease can be recognized by the visible swelling of the tear sac. The flow of tears is usually increased, and the entire eye is usually red and swollen.
Dacryocystitis often affects both eyes. The swelling often goes away on its own and does not require any further clarification by the doctor. Sometimes, however, dacryocystitis can develop into a chronic condition with symptoms such as severe pain, redness, and visual disturbances.
In dacryocystitis, at the beginning of the inflammation, an initially pain-sensitive area develops on the inside of the eye. In addition, this region, including the bags under the eyes, swells with dacryocysitis and becomes warmer than other facial areas.
Over time, dacryocystitis develops into an extremely painful impairment that encompasses the entire tear sac. Under certain circumstances, patients with dacryocystitis suffer from a general physical malaise, similar to a flu-like infection.
Especially with small children, an increased body temperature and fatigue as well as the clearly visible swelling of the tear sac are recognizable. Often an increased leakage of secretions from the nose is noticeable in dacryocystitis. The tears also flow strongly. In dacryocystitis, pus can be secreted at the exit of the tear duct. Both tear ducts are usually involved in dacryocystitis.
During the diagnosis, a microbiological culture can be set up in addition to the radiological representation of the tear systems.
Due to dacryocystitis, the patient usually suffers from discomfort in the eyes. These can be varied, so that different complications can also arise. Most of the time, however, the eyes are reddened and watery. There is no clear cause of the tearing, such as a foreign body in the eye.
The eyes swell as a result and are also sensitive to pressure. It is not uncommon for severe pain to occur in the eye region. The pain affects the patient in his everyday life. Usually a fever-like condition also occurs, with the patient feeling sick and tired. There is a general feeling of weakness.
With dacryocystitis, however, visual complaints can also occur if the person concerned no longer feels good or suffers from a reduced self-esteem. Treatment itself is carried out with the help of pain relievers and antibiotics. In most cases, these act relatively quickly and treat the disease well. Symptoms decrease over time. Surgical interventions are only necessary in rare cases.
When should you go to the doctor?
If the dacryocystitis persists for more than a few days, is unusually severe or causes symptoms, it is best to inform your family doctor or an ophthalmologist directly. The bags under the eyes may be caused by an allergy or disease that needs to be clarified and treated. In particular, persistent pain, redness or visual disturbances indicate a deeper problem – you should definitely see a doctor with these symptoms.
People who regularly suffer from bags under the eyes due to alcohol consumption, lack of sleep or excessive crying should discuss the underlying problems with a therapist. Comprehensive life counseling also helps occasionally. In the case of pronounced dacryocystitis, the emergency medical service should be contacted.
This applies in particular to severe swelling and inflammation as well as bleeding in the area of the bags under the eyes. If the bags under the eyes lead to a reduced self-esteem, an operation is also an option. It is advisable to speak to your family doctor at an early stage, who can examine the dacryocystitis and, if necessary, initiate further measures.
Treatment & Therapy
The treatment of dacryocystitis depends on the age and extent of the person affected. Children are treated with massages of the bags under the eyes or with eye drops or ointments containing antibiotics.
There is also the option of injecting decongestant medication directly into the eye or waiting for pus to drain. If this is not done with dacryocystitis, a surgical opening is performed. Dacryocystitis in adults is treated in such a way that ointments and drops are also administered, which are intended to combat both the symptoms and the causes.
If the diagnosis of dacryocystitis shows that the tear duct that flows into the nose has closed, an opening is inevitable. This procedure is also known as dacryocystorhinostomosis (rhinos – the nose). In dacryocystitis, this technology is based either on an opening through the nose or outside.
Outlook & forecast
In most cases, dacryocystitis is an aesthetic complaint that does not necessarily require treatment for this reason. If it does not lead to complaints or to restrictions in everyday life, no medical intervention is necessary.
Those affected can suffer from severe discomfort in the eyes with untreated dacryocystitis. This leads to watery and reddened eyes, which can also be puffy. In some cases, there is also eye pain. If the dacryocystitis is not treated, visual disturbances can develop. Self-healing does not occur with this disease. If it therefore leads to symptoms, medical treatment is very useful.
The treatment itself can take place through surgery or with the help of medication. As a result, the symptoms of dacryocystitis are permanently resolved and there are no further complications or complaints. The life expectancy of the patient is also not reduced by the disease. In mild cases, the disease can also be treated with the help of massages or eye drops. This can also lead to a positive course of the disease.
To avoid dacryocystitis, cleanliness should be paramount. This is particularly the case with small children. In this regard, do not rub your eyes with dirty hands. If there is a noticeable increase in nasal secretions and pressure pain near the bags under the eyes, a doctor should be consulted in good time to prevent the dacryocystitis from progressing.
High-quality medicines help against dacryocystitis caused by permanently dry eyes, which keep the eyes moist and support the flushing out of foreign bodies. This also keeps the drainage channels for the tear fluid free and dacryocystitis can be prevented.
In most cases of dacryocystitis, follow-up measures are limited. The disease must first and foremost be treated by a doctor in order to alleviate the symptoms. As a rule, there is no need for direct follow-up after the treatment itself if the dacryocystitis has been correctly corrected.
There are no particular complications and the life expectancy of the patient is not reduced by this disease. Dacryocystitis only needs to be treated if the person concerned is uncomfortable with the symptoms or wants to correct them in any case. This involves a small surgical procedure, whereby the patient should rest after the procedure and take care of his body.
The region of the eyes and head in particular should be particularly protected. To prevent infection or inflammation, people with dacryocystitis should also take antibiotics after the procedure. It is important to ensure that the dosage is correct and that it is taken regularly. They should not be taken with alcohol.
You can do that yourself
The most effective remedy for dacryocystitis is prevention. In many cases, bags under the eyes can be avoided by keeping the eyes clean and moist. Especially with small children, care should be taken that they do not rub their eyes with dirty hands.
Adults can reduce bags under the eyes by using face masks with cottage cheese or cucumber. Equally effective: a used tea bag with green or black tea, which is cooled and placed on the bags under the eyes. Alternatively, aloe vera, nut oil or wheat germ oil can be placed on the closed eyes.
Augentrost -Tee or chamomile cream from the pharmacy, the decongestion of eye bags support. In addition, regular massages and sports such as jumping rope or jogging are recommended. Stepping or hopping on the trampoline also reduces the accumulation of water in the tissue and improves the overall blood flow to the bags under the eyes and the entire body.
Those affected should also use dietary measures. Salt consumption is best reduced (the mineral binds fluids and thereby increases the risk of bags under the eyes), while alcohol and nicotine should be avoided completely. The tips mentioned are best used in consultation with the family doctor so that there are no complications in the self-treatment of dacryocystitis.