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Nasolacrimal duct

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Nasolacrimal duct
The lacrimal apparatus. Right side.
Latin d. nasolacrimalis
Gray's subject #227 1029
System
MeSH A09.371.463.640
Outline of bones of face, showing position of air sinuses.

The nasolacrimal duct (sometimes called tear duct) carries tears from the lacrimal sac into the nasal cavity. Excess tears flow through nasolacrimal duct which opens in the nose. This is the reason the nose starts to run when a person is crying or has watery eyes from an allergy, and why one can sometimes taste eye drops.

Like the lacrimal sac, the duct is lined by stratified columnar epithelium containing mucus-secreting goblet cells, and is surrounded by connective tissue.

Obstruction of the nasolacrimal duct leads to the excess overflow of tears called epiphora. A congenital obstruction can cause cystic expansion of the duct and is called a dacrocystocele or Timo cyst. Persons with dry eye conditions can be fitted with punctal plugs that seal the ducts to limit the amount of fluid drainage and retain moisture.

The canal containing the nasolacrimal duct is called the nasolacrimal canal.

Additional imagesEdit


Miscellaneous Information


The nasolacrimal duct drains into the inferior meatus of the nasal bone.

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