In the management of dacryocystitis of infancy both pediatricians and ophthalmologists have as a rule recommended conservative treatment. The teaching has been that no attempt should be made to open the nasolacrimal passages by probing the duct because early instrumentation would injure the tissues and interfere with their normal evolution. This seemed reasonable; hence, conservative treatment has been followed with but few exceptions. From a review of the literature and the present series of cases, it seems that passive treatment may at times be more harmful than early probing of the duct.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
There were innumerable articles during the past century warning against probing the nasolacrimal duct in cases of dacryocystitis in infancy. In 1904 Weeks1 proposed probing the duct with a fairly large probe after slitting the canaliculus provided that conservative treatment was unsuccessful and nature had been given every opportunity to establish a passage. Pechin,