The regular production of tears is important to your eyes’ health. Tears wash away germs and foreign objects, protect the surface of your eye, and provide vital nutrients. Tearing up is a normal function of your eyes, but if you find yourself teary-eyed a little too often, your eyes might be trying to tell you something.
What Causes Watery Eyes?
Even if you have only one watery eye, there could be an underlying problem that is affecting your eye health. Here are a few of the most common:
o Exposure to allergens can cause red, itchy, and watery eyes. Usually, over-the-counter eye drops and antihistamines help, but you may want to visit a doctor.
· Blocked tear duct
o When a tear duct becomes blocked, the tears can back up into your eye, causing them to be watery, irritated, or even infected. See a doctor to flush your eyes and open up the blockage. Blocked tear ducts are common in infants.
· Common cold
o When you are suffering from the common cold, it’s always a good idea to get plenty of rest and drink fluids. Watery eyes due to the common cold usually clear up on their own.
· Conjunctivitis, or pink eye
o If your eyes are pink and watery, you may have conjunctivitis, and you should see your doctor right away. Your treatment will depend on whether the cause is allergies, bacterial, or viral.
· Corneal scratch
o The cornea is the outermost layer of the eye, which makes it the most vulnerable. Most corneal problems go away on their own, but talk to your doctor if the irritation persists or other symptoms develop.
· Dry eye
o Dry eye itself has multiple causes, and if the underlying cause isn’t addressed, your eye problems will not clear up. Your doctor may prescribe medicine and over-the-counter eye drops.
· Eyelid problems
o Artificial tears can help with discomfort caused by eyelid problems, but many times, surgery is required.
· Foreign object in eye
o The cornea is the first line of defense against germs and foreign objects, and anything that irritates your cornea can cause your eyes to keep watering. Talk to your doctor if the irritation persists.
· Ingrown eyelash
o This might cause your eyelash to rub your eyes, resulting in excessive watering.
· Stye, a painful lump near the edge of the eyelid
o Most styes are caused by a bacterial infection. Although usually not serious, styes can be painful. A warm compress over the eye can help with healing. If your stye does not go away after several days, your doctor might drain it. Never try to squeeze a stye yourself.
· Underlying medical condition
o One underlying condition that affects tear distribution is Bell’s palsy. Bell’s palsy is a medical condition in which the nerves in the face become weak or even paralyzed. This condition can make it difficult to close your eyes properly, which means that you are not able to distribute your tears adequately. Although experts aren’t sure what causes Bell’s palsy, most cases go away after a few months. It is important to keep your eyes lubricated, so your doctor may recommend artificial tears.
Generally, watery eyes clear up when the cause clears up. If your symptoms persist or you develop additional symptoms, you should speak to your doctor. Watery eyes are a common problem for adults, and there is often a safe and effective way to treat them. Most causes of watery eyes can be fixed. If your teariness doesn’t clear up on its own, your doctor will be able to test for the conditions that can cause watery eyes and choose the best treatment plan for you and your eyes.