Carefully clean the eyelids using a warm, wet washcloth if tears build up and leave crusts.
For infants, you may try gently massaging the area 2 to 3 times a day. Using a clean finger, rub the area from the inside corner of the eye toward the nose. This may help to open the tear duct.
Most of the time, the tear duct will open on its own by the time the infant is one year old. If this does not happen, probing may be necessary. This procedure is most often done using general anesthesia, so the child will be asleep and pain-free. It is almost always successful.
In adults, the cause of the blockage must be treated. This may re-open the duct if there is not too much damage. Surgery using tiny tubes or stents to open the passageway may be needed to restore normal tear drainage.