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Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol. 2018 Jul-Dec;25(3-4):156-160. doi: 10.4103/meajo.MEAJO_3_17.

Unilateral Congenital Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction, Is It An Amblyogenic Factor?

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Oculoplastic and Orbit Division, King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Ophthalmology, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia.
Oculoplastic Department, Dhahran Eye Specialist Hospital, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
Optometry Department, Dhahran Eye Specialist Hospital, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
Research Department, King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.



To evaluate the refractive status, axial length, and prevalence of amblyopia among Saudi children with unilateral congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction (UCNLDO) compared to the unaffected fellow eye.


A retrospective chart review was performed for children with UCNLDO at two eye institutes in Eastern Saudi Arabia from 2009 to 2015. The outcomes of syringing determined UNCLDO. The risk factors for amblyopia were defined as anisometropia of (spherical equivalent) >1.5 D, hyperopia >3.5 D, myopia >3.0 D, astigmatism >1.5 D at 90° or 180°, >1.0 D, any manifest strabismus, any media opacity >1 mm, or ptosis 1 mm or less margin reflex distance 1 along with blunting of vision in that eye. Matched-pair analysis was performed to correlate variables. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.


We included 39 children with UNCLDO. The mean axial length was 21.4 ± 1.3 mm for the eyes with UCNLDO and 21.6 ± 1.0 mm for the fellow eye (P = 0.4). Hyperopia >+2 D was present in 17 (44%) eyes with UCNLDO and none of the fellow eyes. None of the participants had strabismus.


Axial length and risk factors of amblyopia such as anisometropia, hyperopia, and strabismus were not associated with UCNLDO. UCNLDO is likely an isolated defect.


Amblyopia; anisometropia; childhood blindness; congenital anomalies; congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction; refractive error

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