Watery Eyes

Watery eyes are a very common problem. The overflow of tears and constant dabbing leads to sore,red eyelid skin and can be a social embarrassment as well as interfering with vision.

Surprisingly the most common cause of intermittent watery eyes is having dry eyes. Despite this seeming contradiction, the explanation is quite simple. The surface of your eyes needs to be kept moist to maintain healthy eyes with clear vision. Dry eyes can lead to ulceration and blurred vision. If your eyes become dry (which tends to occur more often with advancing age and specific disease processes) your eyes will intermittently over produce tears as a protective mechanism. We call this reflex hypersecretion. Your Ophthalmologist will be able to determine whether you suffer from reflex hypersecretion and offer treatment which may vary from artificial tear drops to occlusion of the tear drainage system.

Watery eyes are also often caused by obstruction of tear drainage. Tears normally drain through a channel in the upper and lower eyelids into the side of the nose then into the nose to be swallowed. An obstruction can develop anywhere along this pathway. Your Oculoplastic Surgeon will be able to determine if and where any obstruction has developed and recommend treatment which may vary from a minor operation to widen the opening of the tear drainage system in the eyelid to an operation to bypass the tear drainage system (DCR – dacryocystorhinostomy – surgery).