If you are experiencing a constant problem of watering eyes, the condition may be due to excessive tear production, or poor tear drainage. The causes, symptoms and treatment for watery eye are  discussed in this article.

Detailing watery eyes:

Tears help in keeping the eyes lubricated and also assist in washing the foreign objects and dust away. Every time you blink, you wash your eyes with tears produced by the lacrimal glands in your upper eyelids. The glands under the upper eyelid skin produces a liquid containing water and salt called tears, and when you blink, it spreads and keeps your eyes moist. These glands produce extra tears in response to irritation and inflammation. Tears normally drain out of the eye and into the nose through ducts located in the corners of your eyes.

But, when you produce excess tears, they submerge your tear ducts, and you develop watery eyes.

If your tears don’t contain the appropriate balance of water, salt, and oils, then your eyes can become too dry and this results in irritation that causes an overproduction of tears. Though your eyes are not receiving proper lubrication, you may continue to produce tears, and continues the cycle.

Watery eyes symptoms:

In general, watery eyes are characterized by an excess of tears, which give the eyes a glassy look resulting in tears running or dripping from the eyes. There that are numerous reasons behind watery eyes, but there are symptoms that are enough to notice the things. Some of the symptoms of watery eye are as follows:

  • Burning and itchy eyes
  • Foreign sensation in eyes
  • Swollen eyelid
  • Frequent discharge
  • Sneezing
  • Eye pain, especially if trauma has occurred
  • Redness in the eyes
  • Crusting around the eyes signifying the blocked duct

Although tearing is not on a serious issue, but you need to contact your doctor immediately if tearing is accompanied by red eyes, pain in the eye or excess discharge. As these may be the symptoms of a more serious problem.

Causes of watery eyes:

There are numerous reasons for the development of watery eyes. Moreover, it is common to produce excess tears during emotional, laughing, or yawning.  Among these there are other common causes that are as follows:

  • Eye strain
  • The common cold
  • Sinus problems and allergies
  • Environmental factors like bright light and smog
  • Weather conditions, including the wind, cold weather, and sunshine
  • Ingrown eyelash (Trichiasis)
  • Inflammation of the eyelid (Blepharitis)
  • Blocked tear ducts
  • Foreign object or chemicals in the eye
  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis) or other infection
  • Cut to the eye
  • Side effects of medications
  • Cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation

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One of the most prevalent causes of watery eyes is a dry eye syndrome. Scorched eyes can produce excess tears, and if your tears don’t contain enough of the right oils to lubricate your eyes, the cycle will continue.

Treating watery eyes:

As per the doctors, watery eyes are temporary, that resolve on their own when the cause of it gets healed. However, in some cases, the condition persists and may require further treatment. These include the following:

Self-help measures:

If the condition is due to the dry eye syndrome, avoid reading, watching TV and using a computer because you may blink less during these activities, which can make symptoms worse. To get rid of this condition on your own, you can make use of lubricating eye drops, as these help easing the discomfort of dry eyes. Additionally, you can also give a try to warm compress, as it helps loosening the unwanted material that might be blocking the eye glands.


If bacterial infection like conjunctivitis is the reason behind the watery eyes, your GP may prescribe you a course of antibiotics. In case a virus is the cause of the condition, you may be advised to wait for days to see if it resolves itself.

Minor procedure:

If watering eyes are caused by an inward growing eyelash or a foreign object, a GP or an eye specialist may remove them. Moreover, if your lower eyelid rolls inwards or sags outwards, a minor operation may be performed on you under local anesthetic.

Surgery for blocked tear ducts:

When the cause of watery eyes is a blocked tear duct, it can be treated with surgery. To get the surgery done doctors perform Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR), which is a typical surgical process to remove blocked tear duct. DCR is performed by creating a new channel from the tear sac to the inside of the nose. This channel allows tears to bypass the blocked part of the tear duct.

Surgery involves removing a small piece of bone from the side of the nose, allowing the tear sac to drain directly into the nasal cavity. This activity is performed externally through a small incision in the skin on the side of the nose, or from inside the nose using an endoscope.

Prevention of watery eyes:

Watery eyes are usually caused by a problem with the lacrimal system, so it is crucial to take necessary steps to ensure that the system never breaks down. Below are tips to help you prevent watery eyes:

  • Protect your eyes from direct sunlight, injury, and burns by wearing sunglasses or goggles
  • Eat a well-balanced diet, as this will help you stay healthy throughout the life
  • Take precautions by staying away from allergens or take an oral antihistamine thirty minutes prior to entering the environment
  • When your eyes become itchy and irritated avoid touching or rubbing them
  • Growing old increases the chances of getting trapped under various health issues, so it should be on your priority list to visit your doctor frequently for routine exams.