Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment For Watery Eyes

Causes, symptoms, and treatment for watery eyes
Watery eyes are a condition in which tears flow onto your face without having any particular emotional trigger. It can be a social embarrassment at having to wipe the eyes all the time. It is also a cause for medical concern. Moreover, having watery eyes can also be quite irritating and uncomfortable. Let’s take a look at the main facts on what causes watery eyes, the symptoms associated with this condition, and the available treatment options.

What causes the eyes to become watery?

  • The eyes produce tears to stay lubricated and also to remove any foreign particles.
  • Tears are also part of the immune system as they help fight infections to the eyes.
  • However, when the eyes produce excessive tears or when the tear drainage is impacted for some reason, it results in watery eyes.

Why do the eyes produce excess tears?

  • The eyes have glands that produce tears. Tears contain water and salt while the other glands secrete oil to keep the eyes hydrated.
  • If the eyes do not receive the right balance of water, oil, and salt to stay hydrated, they get dry.
  • This dryness causes an irritation, which forces the tear ducts to secrete excess lubrication, thus leading to watery eyes.
  • This condition is commonly called ‘dry eye syndrome’.

What are the major triggers for watery eyes?

  • Many people suffer from watery eyes because of allergies due to exposure to dust, pollen, pet dander, and aerosol sprays.
  • Eye strain from staring at a computer, mobile, or television screen for hours may cause eyes to water.
  • Medical causes that may trigger watery eyes include blocked tear ducts, ingrown eyelashes, conjunctivitis, sty in the eye, corneal abrasions, common cold, trachoma, sinusitis, thyroid disorders, ectropion (outward turned eyelid), entropion (inward turned eyelid), and hay fever.
  • Certain medical treatments, such as chemotherapy or any surgery to the eyes or nose, may also cause the eyes to water.
  • Bright lights often act as triggers leading to watery eyes.

When should you see a doctor?

  • Normally, watery eyes from allergies and from dry eye syndrome are conditions that resolve themselves once the triggers are removed.
  • You need to see a doctor if watery eyes are accompanied by symptoms such as redness in the eyes, swollen eyes, visual disturbances around the eyes, a feeling that something is stuck inside the eyes, or tenderness around the eyes.
  • Some of the severe symptoms include any discharge or bleeding from the eyes or watery eyes that are accompanied by severe headaches.

How are watery eyes treated?

  • The treatment for watery eyes depends on the causes or trigger factors.
  • If watery eyes are caused because of a certain illness such as conjunctivitis, common cold, or hay fever, the illness needs to be treated. In the meanwhile, eye drops are given to soothe the condition.
  • In some cases, antibiotics or anti-allergy medicines are prescribed.
  • For people suffering from severe ectropion (outward turned eyelid), surgery is often advised.
  • A surgical procedure called dacryocystorhinostomy helps treat watery eyes caused due to blocked tear ducts.

How are babies treated for watery eyes?

  • Watery eyes are a condition that is common in many newborn babies. It normally resolves on its own.
  • Parents may clean the discharge with a small piece of cotton dipped in sterile water.
  • If the condition persists, you must contact a doctor for further assistance. Never administer eye drops to a new-born without a prescription as these may have a severe reaction.

Are there any home remedies to manage watery eyes?

  • If you are suffering from watery eyes on a regular course, you should reduce eye strain as much as possible.
  • Limit the number of hours spent staring at the television, mobile, or computer screen.
  • Place a warm, damp cloth over the eyes as this provides relief to the eyes and helps control the condition.