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Watch out for Watery Eyes: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment.

Excessive production of tears from the eyes results in a condition called epiphora or watery eyes. Although tears provide lubrication, nourishment, and maintenance to the fore-most membrane of the eye, too many of them can interfere with the vision and limit the ability to see clearly.

Age is no bar when it comes to this problem. However, epiphora is frequently diagnosed in infants under a year or in older adults over 60 years of age.


When we laugh, cry, cough or yawn, it is normal for our eyes to produce tears.

But if one experiences excess tearing without any reason, it could be a case of dry eye syndrome. Eyes that are extremely dry and irritated force the tear glands to produce more tears to provide nourishment and hydration. Dry eyes signal the glands that the eyes are not lubricated and this results in an overproduction of tears.

Other reasons could be an imbalance of water, salt, and oils, in the eyes. This too results in irritation and overproduction of tears that will gush out of the glands.

Weather conditions like dusty, windy, cold, or sunny can also result in watery eyes. When we step outside in cold temperatures, our eyes begin to water as a reaction to the shrinking temperature. The cold air results in the evaporation of tears and our eyes will be left with a thinner cushion of tears.

Environmental factors such as smog – When smoke combines with the moisture in the atmosphere, it results in smog that irritates the human eyes. Unlike sand and dust particles, the particles of air pollution are not visible to the human eye. Researchers and scientists have also discovered a significant correlation between air pollutants and other eye diseases like conjunctivitis.

Common cold, sinus, and allergies can also be a cause. When we are down with a cold, the infection-fighting white blood cells (wbc) in our blood inflame the lining of the nasal cavity, known as the nasal mucosa. WBCs dilate the blood vessels in the area and cause nasal congestion and rhinorrhea (runny nose). The same thing will happen in the tear duct; tears from the eye will transport to the nose and cause clogging of the ducts. All of this, will result in an accumulation of tears in the eye. Thus, our eyes are watery, secreting tears excessively when we are down with a cold or allergy.

Other reasons to keep an eye on:

  • Inflammation in the eyelids (blepharitis)
  • Eyelids that are turned outward (ectropion) or inward (entropion)
  • Eyelashes that grow backward and toward the globe of eye (trichiasis)
  • Pink-eye (conjunctivitis) or similar infections
  • Blocked tear-ducts
  • The presence of chemicals, irritating gases, and liquids in the eye
  • Injuries like cuts or scrapes
  • A history of using prescription medications in the past
  • Having undergone treatments for cancer (chemotherapy and radiation)

Symptoms to keep in mind:

  • Partial loss of vision
  • Pain and swelling around the eyes
  • Feeling something in your eye
  • Red and bloodshot eyes

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact and book an appointment with an eye doctor immediately.


Treating watery eyes will depend on the cause and its severity.

Sometimes, eye doctors may suggest you to wait and monitor how the condition progresses. In other cases, doctors may recommend one of the following treatments:

  • Prescription of eye drops.
  • Medication for allergies.
  • Antibiotics for eye-infection.
  • Warm compress with a wet towel or washcloth to open up the clogged tear ducts.
  • Removal of the inward-growing eyelash or foreign object that may be causing the irritation.
  • Surgery to fix eyelid placement because of ectropion or entropion.
  • Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR), a surgery that helps create a new drainage system for the tears to exit the blocked part of a tear duct.
  • Other alternatives for more specific and unknown causes.

At a first glance, watery eyes may seem like a condition that does not need much attention, but for some, tears flowing down the face for no reason can prove to be a major irritation.

Make sure you consult and talk to an eye-specialist if your watery-eyes don’t show any improvement after a few days.

If you are experiencing any issues with your eyesight, visit MM Chokshi Eye Hospital for a quick check-up.

Look at the world with more clarity. Book an appointment today.

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