Dr. Benjamin Ticho Discusses the Symptoms and Treatment of Tear Duct Obstruction

A board-certified ophthalmologist in Chicago Ridge, Illinois, Dr. Benjamin Ticho is the lead physician and administrative head of Ticho Eye Associates. He also has a long history as a principal clinical researcher and medical educator who has served as an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary and the trainer of dozens of ophthalmology residents and fellows. One of Dr. Ben Ticho’s diverse areas of expertise is tear duct obstruction.

In his thriving ophthalmology practice, Dr. Benjamin Ticho stresses the supreme importance of patient communication, conveying all pathological and treatment information clearly and comprehensively. In light of this clinical emphasis, he takes every opportunity to educate his patients and the general public about the details of tear duct obstruction.

According to Dr. Ticho, tear duct obstruction occurs when a tear duct becomes partially or entirely blocked for one or more reasons, preventing natural human saline fluid from draining into the eye. In newborn babies, who quite commonly suffer from this condition, tear duct obstructions typically get better without any medical intercedence. Tear duct obstructions in adults may arise as the result of infection, injury, and (in rare instances) tumorous growth.

Symptoms of blocked tear ducts may include excessive tearing and redness of the eye, as well as crusting of the eyelids and swelling of the eyes’ inside corners. Individuals with tear duct obstructions also commonly experience blurred vision, ocular discharge, and recurrent infection/inflammation of the eye.

What treatment options are available?

According to Dr. Ticho, treatment for blocked tear ducts varies according to the cause of the blockage and the affected individual’s age. A tear duct obstruction caused by a tumor, for example, must be addressed through the surgical removal of that tumor or the use of therapeutic modalities to shrink it. The condition usually improves automatically when an eye injury results in blockage as the injury heals.

As previously mentioned, blocked tear ducts in newborns generally get better on their own as well. This occurs naturally as the eye’s drainage system matures during the first few months of a baby’s life. When a baby’s blocked tear duct fails to improve without intervention, doctors may recommend a targeted massage technique to help remove the blockage.

What if the problem persists?

Persistent cases of tear duct blockage in pediatric and adult patients can be treated by minimally invasive dilation and probing with special instruments, including balloon catheters and puncta probes. These procedures are generally followed by the flushing or irrigation of the tear duct with a saline solution.

Other methods to address tear duct obstruction include stenting and dacryocystorhinostomy. Otherwise known as intubation, stenting involves threading a thin tube of silicone or polyurethane through the puncta in the corner of the patient’s eyelids. A doctor will pass these tubes through the tear drainage system into the patient’s nose and then leave them in place for a few months to ensure that tear passageways remain open.

Tear duct surgery

Dacryocystorhinostomy, by contrast, is a surgical procedure that physically removes any blockage present and the experts at Ticho Eye Associates has worked very hard to curate one of the best ophthalmological care teams the region has to offer. Made up of 9 O.Ds, C.Os, and M.Ds, all with unique post-graduate training, the Ticho Eye care team has all been thoroughly reviewed by both patients and professionals, earning a leading position among regional eyecare organizations.

Dr. Ticho and his associates serve patients of all ages and backgrounds and have become one of the area’s most patient-preferred ophthalmology centers in the greater Chicago metropolitan area.

Dr. Ticho’s commitment to excellence in both leadership and in direct patient care serves as a key example of how a high-level medical professional should conduct himself. He inspires confidence in his patients and respect among staff, peers, and medical authorities.

About Dr. Benjamin Ticho

Dr. Ticho is a board-certified ophthalmologist, practicing in Southwest Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. An Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at The University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, he has trained dozens of ophthalmology residents and fellow and served as a principal investigator in some of the most important ophthalmic clinical research of the past two decades. Dr. Ticho is also owner of Ticho Eye Associates, with offices in Chicago Ridge and Tinley Park, IL as well as Munster, IN..

Dr. Ticho’s primary calling revolves around direct patient care, including the surgical treatment of cataracts, strabismus, and oculoplastic conditions. He believes in ensuring that patients are well informed, taking the extra time needed to convey findings and treatment options.

Dr. Ticho combines in-depth knowledge of ocular anatomy with skill and over 25 years of experience in providing surgical care to patients with strabismus, cataracts, glaucoma, ptosis, dermatochalasis, and tear duct obstructions.

His nonsurgical expertise focuses on both pediatric and comprehensive ophthalmology, including treatment of refractive errors, amblyopia, ocular infections, diabetic retinopathy, and retinopathy of prematurity.   He has particular interest in eye care for patients with genetic disorders, Down syndrome, autism, educational challenges, and other forms of special needs.

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