Water makes up about 60% of your body’s weight, helping to do everything from regulating internal temperature, carrying nutrients to cells, lubricating joints, and protecting organs. It is also essential for maintaining moisture in the tissue in your mouth, nose, and eyes.
The layer of tears in your eyes helps keep them moist and protected, but conditions such as allergies can result in epiphora (watery eyes). If you live in the Pelham Gardens area of the Bronx, New York, and you’re struggling with watery eyes or other vision problems, an eye exam at Bronx Eye Associates can help.
To understand this condition, let's explore what epiphora is, what can cause it, and how you can prevent or treat it.
Understanding watery eyes
Tears are more than a reaction to different emotional states. They also lubricate your eyes and wash away particles that can get in. They also serve as part of your immune system to guard against infection.
Tears come from your lacrimal gland and are composed primarily of water and salt. They moisten your eyes when you blink while other glands work to prevent them from evaporating too quickly.
Overproduction from the lacrimal gland can cause your eyes to water slightly and cause excessive tearing, leading to a constant stream in one (unilateral epiphora) or both (bilateral epiphora) eyes. This may also be accompanied by other symptoms depending on the cause, including redness, soreness, sharp pain, swelling, blurred vision, and light sensitivity.
Causes of watery eyes
This condition can result from many factors, such as:
1. Environmental conditions
Debris, dirt, particles, and other foreign substances can irritate the eyes, leading to excessive tearing. Various types of air pollutants can also cause you to tear up persistently.
2. Medical problems
A variety of medical issues can lead to watery eyes, such as allergies, dry eyes, styes, sinusitis, and conjunctivitis (pinkeye). If you have allergies, your watery eyes may require medications such as antihistamines.
3. Structural issues
Issues with the lacrimal gland or eyelid can also lead to watery eyes, including blepharitis (eyelid inflammation), chalazion (eyelid cyst), and entropion (your eyelid turning inward). A scratched cornea (corneal abrasion) can also cause your eye to excessively water.
Prevention and treatment
Often epiphora isn’t serious and in some cases will go away on its own. If you’re dealing with watery eyes and mild symptoms, you can manage them with some basic tips, such as using eye drops, holding a damp cloth over the eye and massaging the eyelid to get rid of debris, and taking a break from computer screens and reading.
We can treat problems that need medical attention in several ways, like medicated drops, removing foreign substances, clearing blockages from tear ducts, and repairing your eyes or eyelids.
We have many options to help you deal with watery eyes, regardless of the cause. If you’re dealing with epiphora, make an appointment with the medical team at Bronx Eye Associates today.