Watery Eyes2021-12-02T12:08:32+00:00

Watery eyes are a sign of excessive tear production, or poor tear drainage

Our management options can help to reduce watering significantly

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While usually not harmful, watery eyes can be troublesome and irritating

Discover more about this symptom and next steps

If you have a problem with constantly watering eyes, it’s usually because of excessive tear production or poor tear drainage. Our bodies produce tears to keep our eyes lubricated and to help remove any foreign bodies. But when the body produces too many tears or tear drainage is affected, the result is excessively watery eyes.

While never harmful, watery eyes can be troublesome and irritating. Thankfully, new and improved management options help reduce watering significantly.

Too many tears

Tear over-secretion is usually caused by irritation or inflammation of the surface of the eye. This can occur for a number of reasons, including eyelash and eyelid problems or allergies. Oddly, a dry eye problem can sometimes cause watery eyes because the eye produces excess tears to combat the irritation and dryness.

Poor tear drainage

Watery eyes can also occur when the eye’s tear drainage channels can’t drain a normal volume of tears. This can occur if:

A tear drainage duct is blocked
You have narrow or displaced tear drainage openings
You have lax eyelids, which causes the normal tear drainage ‘pump’ (usually activated by blinking) to fail.

Watery eyes are characterised by an excess of tears, which can give the eyes a glassy look and result in tears running or dripping from the eyes.

Some excessive tear production is natural in cold or windy environments or if a foreign body gets into the eye. However, excessive and constant watering is not normal and may occur for a number of reasons.

If you are suffering from watery eyes, the best thing to do is call us and arrange an appointment with someone from our specialist eye care team.

In the case of excessive tear production, we can treat this simply by stabilising the tear film. We can use many interventions to do this, including warm compresses or stronger IPL treatment.

Assessment in our dedicated ocular surface clinic can help direct appropriate treatment. Treatment for tear drainage problems usually requires surgical assistance. Still, there’s no need to worry, as most treatments are quick and highly effective.

Why am I told to use lubricant eye drops if my eyes are watery?

In some cases, watery eyes are due to the eye’s surface being dry. Therefore excess tears get produced to combat this. Lubricant drops can sometimes help to get moisture to stay on the eye and reduce the excess tearing.

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Additional resources on treating watery eyes

Learn more about treating watery eyes from authoritative sources.

Tears serve several key roles in your body. They keep your eyes lubricated and help to wash away foreign particles and dust. They are also a component of your immune system that protect you against infection.

Glands under the skin of your upper eyelids produce tears, which contain water and salt. When you blink, tears spread and keep your eyes moist. Other glands produce oils that keep tears from evaporating too fast or from spilling out of your eyes.

Tears are normally discharged through your tear ducts and then evaporate. When you produce too many tears, they overwhelm your tear ducts, and you develop watery eyes.

Most of the time, watery eyes resolve without treatment, but the condition can sometimes become a chronic problem.

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