Home / Health Insurance / Articles / Watery Eyes: Meaning, symptoms, causes & treatment
Team AckoMar 28, 2023
Do your eyes well up every now and then? If yes, then you may be suffering from Watery Eyes (WE). Increasing pollutants and allergens in the air are often the main culprit behind this. Get an overview of this condition along with its symptoms, causes, and treatment by going through this article.
Watery Eyes, also known as Epiphora, is a condition in which there is excessive tear production or inadequate drainage of tears from the eyes. It can cause tears to overflow and spill onto the cheeks.
The symptoms of Watery Eyes can vary depending on the underlying cause. However, some of the most common symptoms of this condition include the following.
Excessive tearing or watering of the eyes: This is the most obvious symptom of WE. It can occur in one or both eyes and is often persistent.
Redness and irritation of the eyes: Watery Eyes can cause the eyes to become red, swollen, and irritated.
Blurred vision: If your eyes constantly produce tears, it can lead to temporary blurred vision. This can make it difficult to read or perform other activities that require clear vision.
Swollen eyelids: Your eyelids may become swollen or puffy.
Sensitivity to light: You may be more sensitive to light than usual.
Discharge: You may notice a discharge from your eyes, which can be transparent or yellowish.
Pain: WE can sometimes be accompanied by pain or discomfort around the eyes or in the sinuses.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to speak with your healthcare provider or eye specialist to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment.
There are several possible causes of Watery Eyes, including allergies. Here’s a list.
Eye infections: Eye infections, such as conjunctivitis or pink eye, can cause excessive tearing, along with other symptoms such as redness, discharge, and sensitivity to light.
Blocked tear ducts: When the tear ducts become blocked, tears cannot drain properly, causing them to overflow and spill onto the cheeks.
Eyelid problems: Ectropion refers to the eyelid turning outward; whereas entropion refers to the eyelid turning inwards. These can cause WE.
Corneal abrasion or injury: Injuries to the eye, such as scratches or abrasions on the cornea, can cause excessive tearing.
Inflammation of the eye: Inflammation of the eye, such as uveitis, can cause WE along with other symptoms such as eye pain and blurred vision.
Recommendation: It is important to identify the underlying cause of WE to determine the appropriate treatment. Your healthcare provider or eye specialist can help you determine the cause and recommend treatment options.
Diagnosing Watery Eyes typically involves a physical examination and a review of your medical history. Your healthcare provider or eye specialist may ask you questions about your symptoms and any other health conditions you may have. During the physical examination, your healthcare provider or eye specialist will examine your eyes and look for any signs of infection, inflammation, or other issues that could be causing your WE. They may also use specialised tests to measure the quality and quantity of your tears. Some of the diagnostic tests that may be used to diagnose Watery Eyes include the following.
Schirmer's test: This test measures the amount of tears your eyes produce by placing a small strip of paper under your lower eyelid for several minutes.
Eye culture: If an eye infection is suspected, a sample of eye discharge may be taken and sent to a laboratory for testing to identify the specific organism causing the infection.
Fluorescein staining: This test involves using a special dye to examine the surface of the eye for any scratches or other damage.
The treatment for Watery Eyes will depend on the underlying cause. However, there are several things you can do to manage the symptoms of WE, including the following.
Avoid allergens: If your Watery Eyes are caused by allergies, avoiding triggers such as pollen, dust, or pet dander can help reduce your symptoms.
Use over-the-counter eye drops: Artificial tears are an alternative way that can help lubricate your eyes and reduce dryness, which can be a cause of WE. Make sure to choose a product that is preservative-free if you will be using it frequently.
Use warm compress: Applying a warm compress to your eyes can help open up blocked tear ducts and promote drainage.
Practise good eye hygiene: Keeping your eyes clean can help prevent infections and other issues that can cause Watery Eyes. Use a clean, damp cloth to gently clean your eyelids and the area around your eyes.
Consider prescription medications: If your Watery Eyes are caused by an underlying medical condition such as dry eye syndrome or an infection, your healthcare provider or eye specialist may recommend prescription medications to help manage your symptoms.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, and getting regular exercise can all help maintain good eye health and reduce your risk of developing Watery Eyes.
It is important to speak with your healthcare provider or eye specialist to determine the best course of treatment for your WE. They can help identify the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatments to help manage your symptoms. Here are some of the common treatments for Watery Eyes.
Antibiotics: If the condition is caused by a bacterial infection, your healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics to help clear the infection and reduce your symptoms.
Antihistamines: If the condition is caused by allergies, your healthcare provider may recommend antihistamines to reduce your symptoms. These can be taken orally or used as eye drops.
Decongestants: If the condition is caused by nasal congestion, your healthcare provider may recommend decongestants to help relieve your symptoms.
Artificial tears: If the condition is caused by dry eye syndrome, your healthcare provider may recommend artificial tears to help lubricate your eyes and relieve your symptoms.
Tear duct surgery: If the condition is caused by a blockage in your tear ducts, your healthcare provider may recommend surgery to correct the issue.
The common causes of Watery Eyes include allergies, dry eye syndrome, conjunctivitis (pink eye), blocked tear ducts, and infections.
No, Watery Eyes alone cannot cause blindness. However, if left untreated, the underlying condition may lead to complications that can affect your vision. For example, dry eye syndrome, which can cause WE, can lead to inflammation and damage to the surface of your eyes, which can result in vision problems. Additionally, infections such as conjunctivitis or keratitis, can lead to complications that affect your vision if left untreated.
Watery Eyes can occur in any season, but some seasons may be more likely to trigger this condition. For example, seasonal allergies, which are a common cause of WE, tend to be more prevalent during the spring and fall months when plants and trees are blooming and producing pollen. Additionally, cold and flu season, which typically occurs during the fall and winter months, can lead to viral or bacterial infections that can cause Watery Eyes.
Watery Eyes can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam and a review of your medical history. Additional tests, such as tear production or drainage tests, may also be performed.
While it may not always be possible to prevent WE, you can reduce your risk by practising good eye hygiene, avoiding allergens, protecting your eyes, quitting smoking, using artificial tears, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
You should see a healthcare provider or eye specialist if you experience frequent WE, or if your symptoms are accompanied by pain, vision changes, or other concerning symptoms.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.
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