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  • Author: Gagan J Singh, MD; Chief Editor: Hampton Roy, Sr, MD  more...
Updated: Mar 09, 2015


The lacrimal gland is located in the supratemporal orbit. Two lobes exist, the orbital and the palpebral. The palpebral lobe is visualized easily by upper lid eversion. This eccrine secretory gland is responsible for the formation of the aqueous layer of the tear film.

By definition, dacryoadenitis is an inflammatory enlargement of the lacrimal gland. Dacryoadenitis may be separated into acute and chronic syndromes with infectious or systemic etiology.



The pathophysiology is not understood completely. Yet, infectious dacryoadenitis is thought to be caused by ascension of an inciting agent from the conjunctiva through the lacrimal ductules into the lacrimal gland.




United States

Dacryoadenitis is uncommon; therefore, data about its prevalence are sparse. One in 10,000 ophthalmic patients has dacryoadenitis according to one report. Inflammatory enlargement of the lacrimal gland is much more common than lacrimal gland tumors.


No data are available. Acute dacryoadenitis tends to be a self-limiting condition. Patients with chronic dacryoadenitis need management of their systemic condition.


No racial predilection is noted.


No sexual predilection is noted.


No age predilection is noted.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Gagan J Singh, MD Chief of Ophthalmology, GMS Medical Eye Center, LLC; Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, West Virginia University School of Medicine

Gagan J Singh, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, American Academy of Ophthalmology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Richard Ahuja, MD Clinical Instructor, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Maryland Medical School

Richard Ahuja, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Simon K Law, MD, PharmD Clinical Professor of Health Sciences, Department of Ophthalmology, Jules Stein Eye Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine

Simon K Law, MD, PharmD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, American Glaucoma Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Hampton Roy, Sr, MD Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Hampton Roy, Sr, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology, American College of Surgeons, Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Ron W Pelton, MD, PhD Private Practice, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Ron W Pelton, MD, PhD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology, American College of Surgeons, AO Foundation, American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Colorado Medical Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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