How to Stop Watery Eyes in Their Tracks

You’re watching videos on your phone when suddenly your vision blurs. Your eyes have begun tearing up at an incredibly excessive rate and they just won’t stop! What do you do?

Believe it or not, increased eye watering is a common condition. Our expert eye doctors at Clarkson Eyecare have seen this all before. Read on to discover the symptoms, causes, and a selection of at-home treatments for watery eyes.

How to Stop Watery Eyes

Visit the Eye Care Experts at Clarkson Eyecare

If you’re looking for relief for watery eyes, you’ve come to the right place. Clarkson Eyecare has offices conveniently located in 11 states across the nation, including Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, and Virginia. Relief from eye watering is just a call or click away!

The Symptoms of Watery Eyes

Aside from the obvious symptom (excess tears), other symptoms of watery eyes include:

  • Blurry vision

  • Discharge

  • Eyelid issues (such as skin being wiped away or the lower lid becoming loose from rubbing/wiping tears continually)

  • Discomfort/irritation

  • Light sensitivity

Common Causes of Watery Eyes

There are several reasons your eyes may be experiencing epiphora (watery eyes). Some causes may be external, some may be related to health conditions, and some may be the result of habits and behaviors. 

Some of the most common environmental factors include being exposed to cold weather, wind, or smoke. These can worsen dry eyes or lead to blocked tear ducts. Tear production and drainage is an intricate, precise process involving the secretory system. If any part of this system is off balance (for example, when your eyes are dry), tear production and drainage can change. While many factors can throw this balance off, issues arise mainly from making too many tears or having poor eye drainage. 

Poor eye drainage often stems from other conditions, like a blocked tear duct. Tear ducts are at the corner of the eyes near the nose. When these are partially or fully clogged, tears can't drain from your eyes into your nose, where they either disappear through evaporation or reabsorption. Tears instead stay in the eye, making it watery and even leading to infection. This can be caused by a narrow tear duct, chronic eye inflammation (like uveitis), swelling, eye infection, glaucoma, previous eye or sinus surgery, and previous cancer treatment (especially radiation therapy or chemotherapy). Even makeup can cause infections, styes, and irritation leading to watery eyes.

What Causes Excess Tears?

Eyes have three types of tears: basal/lubricating tears, reflex tears, and emotional tears.

  • Basal tears are made at a slow but consistent pace, moisturizing the surface of the eye and acting as a barrier to keep it safe and healthy.

  • Reflex tears can be produced quickly in response to stimuli impacting the eye. Reflex tearing can result from allergic conjunctivitis, inflammation, ocular surface disorders, trichiasis (a condition where your eyelashes grow into your eyes), getting a foreign object in your eye, eye injuries, and dry eye syndrome (DES). Exposure to some chemicals, including hair spray, perfumes and cutting onions, can cause excessive tears too.

  • Emotional tears are just what you'd think they'd be — those produced when emotions, whether happiness or sadness, overwhelm you.

When your eyes are watery, you experience increased production of either basal tears or reflex tears.

Who’s Most Likely to Have Watery Eyes?

Excessive eye watering is most common in newborns and older people for different reasons. Older people may experience eyelid malposition. The basic types, entropion (when the eyelid is turned in toward the eye) and ectropion (when the lower eyelid is turned outward from the eye), can lead to eye watering because the eyelid must be perfectly positioned to prevent it. Both can be treated with surgery.

Nasolacrimal duct obstruction, or dacryostenosis, is a condition that causes excessive eye watering and discharge in 6% to 20% of newborns. It usually fixes itself as the ducts develop or with minimal treatment (including massage, eye drops, and topical antibiotics). By most kids' first birthdays, 90% of cases have resolved.

Treatment for Watery Eyes

Because there are so many different causes for watery eyes, your treatment will vary. Your Clarkson Eyecare doctor may simply recommend you keep an eye on it for a bit to see if it gets better on its own. There are several at-home remedies you can try on your own to stop watery eyes.

Over-the-Counter Eye Drops and Artificial Tears

Using over-the-counter or prescribed eye drops can help lubricate the eye and stop surface irritation from a variety of factors, including DES. These drops are available from most local pharmacies. If you need something a bit stronger, your Clarkson Eyecare doctor may prescribe something for your watery eyes.

Allergy Medicines

If your eyes are bothered by an allergen and won't stop tearing, antihistamine eye drops or an oral antihistamine medication could provide relief.

A Cool Humidifier in the Winter

Winter tends to cause the air to dry out which can lead to dry eyes. A cool indoor humidifier can help keep the air from getting dry and stop watery eyes caused by excessive dryness.

Warm Compresses

You can purchase an eye compress to help relieve a host of issues that can cause excessive eye watering, including DES, blocked tear ducts, and even stye or chalazion. You can also make your own by wetting a washcloth with warm (not hot) water and applying it to your eyelids for five to 10 minutes.

When Should You See a Doctor?

If you experience a sudden drop in vision, pain around the eyes, or the sensation that something is stuck in your eye, you should seek medical assistance right away. These could be signs of larger eye health issues such as an eye injury or eye infection. Your eye doctor will be able to determine the cause of your watery eyes. They may prescribe oral antibiotics or medicated eye drops depending on your condition.


Schedule Your Appointment at Clarkson Eyecare

If you can’t wait for your eyes to stop watering, Clarkson Eyecare can offer relief. Book an appointment at your nearest Clarkson Eyecare office and talk to your doctor about your watery eyes. Find a treatment solution for your unique eyes at Clarkson Eyecare!

Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach
Alliance
Centralia
Westerville
South Columbus
Maryland Heights
Overland
Mason and Manchester
Nine Mile
Northfield
Fern Creek
79 Crossing
Tecumseh
Shea Boulevard
West Chester Tylersville
Highland
The Spec Shoppe: St. Joseph
Paducah
Affton
Creve Coeur
Chanhassen
Edwardsville Club Center
West Park
Middleburg Heights
Blue Ash
Mariemont
Union
Washington
Farmington
Alpharetta
Belleville
Perryville
Willoughby
Manchester
Wesley Chapel
Bricktown
Austell (EW Connector)
Sharpsburg
Downtown St. Louis
Southeast Novi
Vinings
Centerville
Clifton
Okemos
West Camino Del Sol
Navarre
Springhurst
Fairfield
Medina
Perry
Marysville
Warrenton
Town Street
Town & Country Crossing
Florissant Dunn Rd.
Bexley
Ballwin
Alton
Pavilion Crossing
Haslett
Granite City Nameoki
New Albany
Columbia Broadway
Wentzville
Chesterfield
Shakopee
Stonebrook
Woodlands
Legacy
Keller
Countryside
Tampa (Busch)
Elk River 
Brunswick
Shiloh
Maplewood
Trinity
Three Rivers
Shepherdsville
Bogey Hills
Ann Arbor on Main
Worthington
Ann Arbor Children's Clinic for Vision Enhancement
Elizabethtown
Woodbine
Lake St. Louis
West Broad St.
Hilliard
Pontiac
Howell Township
Ann Arbor Plymouth
Coventry
Mansfield
Grand River
Matawan
Pleasant Hill
Imperial
Edwardsville Crossing
Clarksville
Conyers
Lilburn
Anderson
Delta Township
Saline
Suwanee
West Chester Union Centre
Lake Ridge
Hazlet Plaza
Red Bank
Columbia Rock Bridge Red Oak
Jennings
Lakeland
Lebanon
Wildwood
Pacific
Butler Hill
Arnold Park Mall
Valrico
Calvert City
Berryhill
Snellville
Braselton
Ft. Mitchell
Lone Oak
Perdido
Davis Highway
Kenwood
Harrison
Lutz Sunlake Centre
Plant City North
Gulf Breeze
Tesson Ferry
Telegraph Plaza
South County
St. Louis Hills
Central West End
South Grand
Milford
Loveland
Kettering
Dublin
Reynoldsburg
Riverview
Downtown Columbus
Riverview Vision Performance Center
Eureka
O'Fallon South
94 Crossing
Arnold
Franconia
Valley Station
141 & Olive
Chesterfield Valley
Collinsville
Columbia
Middletown
Festus
Beacon Center (Alexandria)
Fenton
Breese
Cold Spring
Lake Lansing Rd.
Western Hills
Florissant HWY 67
Kirkwood
North Lebanon
Benton
O'Fallon North
Mid Rivers
Bardstown
Sea Girt Mall
Eatontown
Wooster
Delaware
Kissimmee
Towncenter Plaza (Sterling)
Manassas
Fredericksburg
Green
Mt. Orab
Morrow
Gahanna
Webster Groves
Troy
Rock Hill
Clayton
High Ridge
Ellisville
Brentwood Pointe
Oxboro
Murray
Mayfield
Waterloo
Swansea
Mt. Vernon
Godfrey
Fairview Heights
Miramar
Fort Walton