Watery eyes means you have too many tears draining from the eyes. Tears help keep the surface of the eye moist. They wash away particles and foreign objects in the eye.
Your eyes are always making tears. These tears leave the eye through a small hole in the corner of the eye called the tear duct.
Causes of watery eyes include:
Increased tearing sometimes happens with:
One of the most common causes of excess tearing is dry eyes. Drying causes the eyes to become uncomfortable, which stimulates the body to produce too many tears. One of the main tests for tearing is to check whether the eyes are too dry.
Treatment depends on the cause of the problem. Therefore it is important to determine the cause before treating yourself at home.
Tearing is rarely an emergency. You should seek help right away if:
Also, contact your health care provider if you have:
The doctor will examine your eyes and ask questions about your medical history and symptoms. Questions may include:
Your doctor may order tests to help determine the cause.
Treatment depends on the cause of the problem.
Epiphora; Tearing - increased
Hurwitz JJ. The lacrimal drainage system. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 4th ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier; 2013:chap 12.15.
Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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