Your tear production jumps into overdrive when you hurt yourself or when the wind is whipping through the air. These are perfectly normal reasons for overly watery eyes. If your eyes have developed a more chronic problem with excessive tearing, it could signal an underlying condition that warrants treatment.
If you want to see clearly again, the team of ophthalmologists at Suburban Eye Associates is well versed in the many conditions that can lead to excessively teary eyes.
In this month’s blog post, we take a look at some of the more common drivers of watery eyes and how we go about bringing you relief.
Contrary to its name, a condition known as dry eyes can lead to teary eyes. Nearly five million people over the age of 50 in the United States struggle with dry eyes and the condition occurs when there’s a lack of balance in your tears.
Under normal circumstances, your tears contain a combination of:
- Water for hydrating your eyes
- Mucus for spreading the tears and protecting your eyes
- Oil for keeping the liquid on the surface of your eye
If you have an imbalance in these tear ingredients, such as low oil production, your tears can evaporate too quickly, leaving you with dry eyes. Dry eyes can also be caused by poor tear production.
When you have dry eyes, your eyes may overproduce tears to compensate, which can lead to watery eyes.
If we find that dry eyes are behind your teary eyes, we can treat the problem with artificial tears or puncta duct plugs that help your tears stay on your eyes.
Blocked tear ducts
Another cause of watery eyes are blocked tear ducts, which prevent your eyes from draining properly. If this is behind your watery eyes, we can turn to a balloon dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR), which is a technique we use to unblock your tear ducts.
During a DCR, we thread a thin wire and balloon through the duct and then inflate the balloon with water when it's in position, which should remove the blockage.
More than 24 million people in the United States suffer from hay fever or allergic rhinitis and one of the primary symptoms are watery eyes. To combat this cause of teary eyes, we advise you to see a allergy specialist.
Infections and eye conditions
There are many different types of infections and eye conditions that can lead to watery eyes, including:
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- Blepharitis (inflammation in your eyelid)
- Trichiasis (ingrown eyelash)
- Keratitis (inflammation in your cornea)
- A corneal abrasion
- Ectropion (your eyelid turns outward)
- Entropion (your eyelid turns inward)
If your eyes are watery and the symptom is accompanied by discomfort or inflammation, it's important that you come see us so that we can identify the underlying condition and get you on the road to better eye health.
As you can see, there are many issues that can lead to watery eyes and our feeling is that, if your eyes are chronically teary, it’s very much worth your while to pay us a visit. To get started, contact one of our locations in Huntingdon Valley, Jenkintown, or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to set up an appointment.