By Medicover Hospitals / 18 Jan 2021
- What are watery eyes?
- When to visit a Doctor?
- Home remedies
What are watery eyes?
- The watery eye, the epiphora or tearing, is a condition in which there is an overflow of tears on the face, often without a clear explanation, the tears keep the front surface of the eye healthy and maintain clear vision, but too many tears can hinder vision.
- Epiphora can develop at any age, however, it's far more common in those who are younger than one year or older than 60 years and might have an effect on one or both eyes.
Something in your eye:
When something enters your eye (a speck of dirt, dust, an eyelash), your eye produces more tears to expel it. Even things that are too small to see, like particles in smoke or chemicals in onions, trigger this reaction. Once the problem is eliminated, your eyes will stop watering. But there are other health and eye problems that can also make you cry more often.
You may have this problem because your eyes don't make enough tears, they dry too quickly, or they don't have the proper balance of water, oils, and mucus. Many things can cause these problems, from windy days to medical conditions. Whatever the cause, your eyes react by producing more tears.
This is a common cause of watery eyes in both children and adults. It can make one or both eyes look pink or red and feel itchy and gritty like there is sand in them, the viral or bacterial infections are the most common cause. Viral infections don't need treatment, but you may need antibiotic eye drops if they are bacterial.
Itchy, watery eyes often come with a cough, runny nose, and other classic allergy symptoms. Sometimes colds can also cause watery eyes, they won't itch. That's one way to tell the difference between colds and allergies.
Blocked tear duct:
Normally, tears exit the tear glands above the eye, spread across the surface of the eyeball, and drain through ducts at the corner. But if the ducts become clogged, tears accumulate and the eye becomes watery. Many things can cause problems, such as infections, injuries, and even aging.
Overproduction of tears:
Irritated eyes can produce more tears than normal when the body tries to flush out the irritant. The following irritants can cause excessive tear production:
- some chemicals, such as fumes and even onions
- an injury to the eye, such as a scratch or a bit of sand (a small pebble or a piece of dirt)
- trichiasis, where the eyelashes grow inward
- ectropion, when the lower eyelid is turned outward
They can lead to tearing in the eye, but the other symptoms are usually more obvious, such as a painful, red, swollen lump along the edge of the eyelid. Bacteria are the cause, and a stye will likely go away on its own in a few days. In the meantime, leave it alone and don't try to pop it like a pimple - it will spread the infection.
Have you ever had eyebrow hair that stubbornly grows at a strange angle? The same can happen with your eyelashes. If they grow inward instead of outward, they rub against the eye. It's called trichiasis, and it can occur after infections, injuries, or other problems.
This condition causes your eyelids to swell, usually near the lashes. Your eyes may burn and be watery, red, itchy, and crusty. Many things can cause it, such as infections, rosacea, and allergies.
- Epiphora is fairly easy to diagnose. The doctor will try to find out if injury, infection, entropion ( caused it eyelid that turns inward), or ectropion (eyelid that turns outward). Sometimes, the patient may be referred to an ophthalmologist or ophthalmologist, who will examine the eyes, possibly under anesthesia.
- A tube may be inserted into the narrow drainage channels inside the eye to see if they are blocked.
- The fluid can be inserted into a tear duct to see if it is coming out of the patient's nose. If it is blocked, a dye can be injected to find the exact location of the blockage; This will be done using an X-ray image of the area and it shows up on the x-ray.
Treatment depends on the severity of the problem and the cause. In mild cases, doctors may simply recommend watchful waiting or doing nothing and monitoring the patient's progress.
Different causes of watery eyes have specific treatment options:
- Irritation: If the watery eye is caused by infectious conjunctivitis, the doctor may prefer to wait a week or so to see if the problem clears up without antibiotics.
- Trichiasis: An eyelash that grows inward, or some foreign object that has lodged in the eye, the doctor will remove.
- Ectropion: The eyelid turns outwards; the patient may need to undergo surgery in which the tendon that holds the outer eyelid in place is squeezed.
- Blocked tear ducts: Surgery can create a new channel from the lacrimal sac into the nose. It allows the tears to bypass the blocked part of the tear duct. This surgical procedure is called a dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR).
- If the drainage channels, or canaliculi, inside the eye narrow but are not completely blocked, the doctor may use a tube to widen them. When the canaliculi are completely blocked, an operation may be necessary.
When to visit a Doctor?
Seek immediate medical attention if your eyes are watery with:
Watery eyes can clear up on their own. If the problem is due to dry eyes or eye irritation, using artificial tears or placing warm compresses on the eyes for several minutes may help. If the watery eyes persist, make an appointment with your doctor. If necessary, he or she can refer you to an eye doctor (ophthalmologist).
- vision loss or visual disturbances
- injured or scratched eye
- chemicals in your eye
- discharge or bleeding from your eye
- red, irritated, swollen, or sore eyes
- unexplained bruising around the eye
- tenderness around the nose or sinuses
- eye problems accompanied by a severe headache
- watery eyes that don't get better on their own
Saltwater, or saline solution, is one of the most effective home remedies for eye infections. Saline solution is similar to tears, which is how the eye naturally cleans itself. Salt also has antimicrobial properties. Because of this, it stands to reason that saline can effectively treat eye infections.
Putting cold tea bags on your eyes while they are closed can be a way to relax and unwind. Some say it can be an effective home treatment for eye infections.
A heat compress can help Warm compresses may soothe styes by reducing the blockages that cause the stye if the eyes are sore, infected, or irritated. They can also help relieve dry eye symptoms.
Like hot compresses, cold compresses do not exactly cure eye infections. However, they can alleviate the discomfort associated with certain eye diseases. Cold compresses can reduce swelling in the event of eye injuries and infections.
Some studies show positive implications for the use of honey eye drops to help treat eye infections.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Sometimes excessive tear production can also cause watery eyes. Allergies or viral infections (conjunctivitis), as well as any type of inflammation, can cause watery eyes for a few days or so.
Not getting enough sleep can lead to dry, itchy, or bloodshot eyes. The eyes can produce fewer tears after a poor night's sleep, it can be one reason for eye infections. You may experience twitching or twitching of your eyes when you have not had enough sleep.
Treatment for watery eyes, as there could be an underlying cause that you do not know (such as dry eyes, in which case you may need artificial tears or eye drops) or a blocked tear ducts, your doctor can help you in both cases.
Worldwide variations in prevalence of symptoms of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis in children: the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1399-3038.1997.tb00156.x
Conjunctivitis - https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/1758756
Etiology of acute conjunctivitis in children - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022347681807548