Nasolacrimal duct

Also called the tear duct carries tears from the lacrimal sac into the nasal cavity.

The nasolacrimal duct opens into the inferior nasal meatus and is partially covered by a mucosal fold the plica lacrimalis.

Excess tears flow through nasolacrimal duct to the inferior nasal meatus, explaining why the nose starts to run when a person is crying, has watery eyes from an allergy, and why one can sometimes taste eye drops.

The nasolacrimal duct is lined by stratified columnar epithelium, and contains mucus-secreting goblet cells.

Obstruction of the duct leads to the excess overflow of tears called epiphora.

In dry eye the duct can be plugged and limits the amount of fluid drainage and retains moisture.

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

Tear ducts in males tend to be larger than the ones in females.

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