Let's Talk Medicine

Disorders of the Lacrimal Gland

Source: ALPF Medical Research

Acute inflammation of the lacrimal gland is a rare disorder characterized by intense inflammation and extreme tenderness to palpation. Etiology: The disorder is often attributable to pneumococci and staphylo-cocci, and less frequently to streptococci. There may be a relationship between the disorder and infectious diseases such as mumps, measles, scarlet fever, diphtheria, and influenza.

L Gland

Symptoms and diagnostic considerations: Acute dacryoadenitis usually occurs unilaterally. The inflamed swollen gland is especially tender to palpation.

H The upper eyelid exhibits a characteristic S-curve (Fig. 3.12). Differential diagnosis:

  • Internal hordeolum (smaller and circumscribed).
  • Eyelid abscess (fluctuation).
  • Orbital cellulitis (usually associated with reduced motility of the eyeball).


Treatment: This will depend on the underlying disorder. Moist heat, disinfectant compresses (Rivanol), and local antibiotics are helpful. Clinical course and prognosis: Acute inflammation of the lacrimal gland is characterized by a rapid clinical course and spontaneous healing within eight to ten days. The prognosis is good, and complications are not usually to be expected.

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This entry was posted on September 17, 2013 by in Eye.
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