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Eye Surgeon Elin Bohman defends her thesis on epiphora and tear duct obstructions

20 May 2021

Eye Surgeon Elin Bohman is defending her thesis "Epiphora – lmpact on vision, outcome of lacrimal surgery and investigations with ultra-high-frequency ultrasound" on 28 May, 2021. It deals with the problems of epiphora (teary eyes caused by blocked tear ducts) and tear duct obstructions, and how they can be treated and operated on.

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Elin Bohman meets many patients with tear drainage problems, and could sense the need of increasing knowledge about these diseases.

Hi there, Elin Bohman, what is the topic of your thesis?

"I have researched various aspects of problems with teary eyes caused by blocked tear ducts. The questions we have tried to answer are how much problems teary eyes cause in everyday life, how we examine and treat patients with epiphora at present, how our lacrimal surgery procedures work out long term, and finally whether we can use the latest ultrasound technology to get clues to how the active tear drainage works," says Elin Bohman, Oculoplastic Surgeon at St. Erik Eye Hospital and doctoral student at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet.

Why did you choose this topic?

"I meet many patients with tear drainage problems at the clinic, and could sense the need of increasing our knowledge about these diseases."

What was the most important result of your thesis?

"That one of our most common lacrimal surgery procedures, probing and inserting a silicone tube, does not have a good success rate in the long term if the tear duct obstruction is distal to the lacrimal sac. This allows the surgeon to choose another method with a better prognosis instead."

What do you hope your thesis will lead to?

"To rise awareness in society that teary eyes is not just a small problem. For some patients, it can be very disabling in everyday life."

What is next after your dissertation is finished?

"In fact, our research group has already started new exciting studies; this time we investigate the blood flow during different types of eyelid tumour treatments and eyelid reconstructions."

Why is it important to do research?

"To increase our knowledge and learn more about how things work and are connected. In medical research, it ultimately leads to us being able to help people in better and more efficient ways."