Why Do My Eyes Water?
Our bodies produce tears to keep our eyes lubricated, and to help remove any foreign bodies. But when the body produces too many tears, or tear drainage is affected, the result is excessively watery eyes. While not necessarily harmful, watery eyes can be troublesome and irritating. Thankfully, this condition can usually be treated quickly and effectively.
Watery eyes are characterized by an excess of tears, which can give the eyes a glassy look, and may result in tears running or dripping from the eyes.
In older adults, persistent watery eyes may occur as the aging skin of the eyelids sags away from the eyeball, allowing tears to accumulate and flow out. Dry eye syndrome, also called keratitis sicca, keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or xerophthalmia is a recurrent or persistent sensation of dryness of the eyes. The condition is uncomfortable and it can interfere with your quality of life. You may have trouble keeping your eyes open or you may not be able to work or drive due to severe dryness of your eyes. Dry eye disease can vary from mild to extremely severe.
Dry eyes can actually cause your eyes to water. The tears are similar to the tear production that is triggered when something gets in your eye. They are called reflex tears. Reflex tears don’t have the same lubricating qualities as the tears that normally protect your eyes, so they do not prevent dry eyes.
Infant and Toddler Watery Eyes Causes
Watery eyes can be a symptom of numerous medical conditions. A likely cause of watery eyes in infants can be blocked tear ducts. These often resolve on their own.
Other causes of watery eyes in infants and toddlers include infections like conjunctivitis (pink eye) or the common cold. Like adults, your child may experience watery eyes from irritants or hay fever.
Your child’s watery eyes can also be a symptom of a common cold. Children are more susceptible to colds than adults because they’ve not built up immunity and often touch their eyes, nose, and mouth, causing more germs to spread. Your child may develop watery eyes along with other cold symptoms like a stuffed or runny nose and sneezing.
Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, may be causing the watery eyes. This can occur in children or adults at any time. Pink eye occurs when a virus or, less commonly, bacteria get into the eye. Conjunctivitis can also be caused by irritation.
Teens And Older Adults With Too Many Tears
Tear over-secretion is usually caused by irritation or inflammation of the surface of the eye. This can occur for a number of reasons, including eyelash and eyelid problems or allergies. Oddly, a dry eye problem can sometimes cause watery eyes because the eye produces excess tears to combat the irritation and dryness.
In the case of excessive tear production, watery eyes can often be treated very simply, with eye drops, warm compresses or sometimes medication. Treatment for tear drainage problems is usually surgical, but there’s no need to worry, as most surgical treatments are quick and highly effective.
The various causes of watery eyes in babies and toddlers require different treatments. Some require minimal action on the part of the parents, while other treatments include prescription medications or surgery.
Contact our office at 724-443-6767 or 724-226-0444 with any concerns you may have regarding watery eyes or any other eye condition.
About Bissell Eye Care: John D. Bissell, OD owns and operates Bissell Eye Care servicing Northern Pittsburgh and Alle-Kiski Valley regions. With two locations to treat patients, we offer evening and Saturday appointments. Bissell Eye Care provides comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family beginning as early as 6 months, ocular disease detection and treatment, eyeglasses, sunglasses, activewear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. We accept most types of vision and health insurance plans. For more nformation, visit bisselleyecare.com or call our Bakerstown Office at 724-443-6767 or Natrona Heights office at 724-226-0444.