Watery Eyes? It May Not Be What You Think

Jan 1, 2024 | Dry Eye Syndrome

Do you suffer from watery eyes? You may think it’s because of allergies or a cold, but it could be dry eye syndrome. It sounds strange, but it’s true! Dry eye syndrome can cause a range of symptoms, including excessive tearing, or what doctors call reflex tearing. In this blog post, we’ll explore why watery eyes can be an unexpected symptom of dry eye and what you can do about it. 

What is dry eye syndrome? 

Dry eye syndrome occurs when your eyes don’t make enough tears or when they make low-quality tears. Tears are crucial for eye health. They keep your eyes lubricated and prevent them from drying out. When your eyes are dry, they can get inflamed, itchy, and red.  

How does dry eye lead to watery eyes?  

When your eyes aren’t producing enough tears, your body tries to compensate by producing reflex tears. Reflex tears are different from the ones your body produces to lubricate your eyes regularly. These reflex tears don’t stay on the surface of the eye long enough to lubricate them, which leads to more dryness and irritation. It’s a vicious cycle that can cause significant discomfort. 

Other causes of watery eyes 

While dry eye syndrome is a common cause of watery eyes, it’s not the only one. Here are a few other causes you might not be aware of: 

  • Eyelid problems: When your eyelids don’t close properly, tears can spill over, causing watery eyes. 
  • Allergies: Allergens can make your eyes produce more tears than necessary, leading to watery eyes. 
  • Eye infections: When you have an eye infection, your eyes can start watering. It’s your body’s way of flushing out the infection. 
  • Medications: Some medications, including certain eye drops, can cause watery eyes as a side effect. 
  • Blocked tear ducts: A blocked tear duct can cause tears to build up, leading to watery eyes. 

How to treat watery eyes 

Treatment for watery eyes will depend on the underlying cause. If you have dry eye syndrome, your eye doctor might suggest eye drops, medications to ease inflammation, or lifestyle changes. For allergies, they might recommend antihistamines or allergy shots. And if it’s an infection, you may need antibiotics.  

If you’re dealing with watery eyes, it’s important to see your eye doctor to figure out what’s causing it. It could be something minor, but it could also be an underlying condition like dry eye syndrome. Dr. Lemoncelli from Lemoncelli Eyecare in Nashville is a specialist who can diagnose and treat dry eye and other eye conditions. She’ll evaluate your symptoms, suggest the best treatment options, and make sure you find the relief you need. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment and stop living in discomfort!