I had the procedure in 2011, and the doctor told me, "It was actually just a build up of mucus." Gross, right? It made sense, though, since I'm pretty sure my multiple sinus infections caused the tear duct to get blocked in the first place.
The procedure was easy, and thankfully painless. I think he just stuck a tube down my tear duct and cleared out the blockage. The bad news: the tearing didn't stop. I thought the stent was preventing the tears from getting through the tear duct, but I was wrong. When I had the stent taken out, the tearing didn't get better. I carried a folded tissue with me at all times to stick in the corner of my eye. I avoided dealing with people face-to-face because I didn't want them to see me with tears welling up in my eye. My eye once again grew raw from rubbing the tears away.
And then in January 2012 a miracle happened:
I got the flu.
I was overdosing on Dayquill to stay functional at work, and one day while I was in the bathroom, I blew my nose and this green gunk came out of my eye. (I'm sorry this is so gross!) I was horrified and curious, and pinched my nose shut with my fingers and blew air into my sinuses.
More nasty gunk came out of my tear duct.
So I did it again.
Until the gunk stopped. And slowly, over a couple of days, the tearing did, too.
For all of 2012, I was amazingly tear free. And I'm not kidding when I say I was grateful every day for it. I kept a bottle of Dayquill at home and at work, because I'd get the occasional tearing, but a shot of Dayquill and blowing out my eye (I'm sorry it's nasty!) cured the first signs of tearing.
In December 2012, I decided to get bangs. A few weeks later, the tearing started again. And I thought back to the last time I started tearing, and realized that I'd gotten bangs then, too. And the time before that.
Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not.
I tried my Dayquill trick, but to my horror, the tearing just seemed to get worse. I tried more Dayquill. Still worse. I downed Dayquill until I nearly passed out. Blew my eye.
Nothing. More tearing. Excessive tearing.
As I type this, my eye is more damp than teary, but it's been getting steadily worse. It could be a sinus infection (my sinuses do feel pretty full) or it could be the tear duct being blocked again.
Tomorrow I'm going to go buy some Mucinex and see if that helps, and on Monday, I'm calling the doctor. Hopefully it doesn't come to that.
Until next time.