Watery Eyes

Watery eyes or excessive tearing can be caused by several different things. In infants and small children it is often caused by a blocked tear duct. The blockage may open spontaneously within a few months as the infant grows or if the tearing persists, it may be necessary for an ophthalmologist to open the tear duct by probing and irrigation. This is done in a hospital outpatient department under a general anesthetic.

Dry eyes, wind, pollen, smoke, allergies and chemical eye irritation can also cause watery eyes or excessive tearing. Probably the most common however is dry eyes. As we age, we may not produce enough lubrication for the eyes resulting in the gland trying to produce excess tears. For most people this can be remedied by simply using an over the counter artificial tear drop that helps reduce symptoms. Should symptoms continue, putting a punctal plug into the tear duct may give complete resolution. Your ophthalmologist can determine if this is the cause for your tearing and recommend an appropriate course of action.

If mattering or discharge accompanies the watery eyes, you may have an infection. Contact your ophthalmologist immediately since you may need an antibiotic drop to clear the infection.