Watery eyes are a common problem, particularly in older people. A blocked tear duct is the most common cause, but there are a number of other causes. Depending on the cause and severity will depend on the type of treatment.
What are the common causes of watery eyes?
Anything that irritates your eye can cause you to make a lot of tears. The watering is a protective reflex to help clear the irritants away from your eye. For example:
- Chemical irritants such as onions, fumes, etc.
- Infection or allergy of the front of the eye (conjunctivitis)
- A small injury, foreign body or scratch to the front of your eye
- Eyelashes that grow inwards can irritate the front of your eye. This is called trichiasis and singular eyelash removal may be required.
Faulty drainage of tears
Tears may become blocked at any point in the drainage channels. The most common cause of watery eyes in adults is a blockage in the tear duct just below the tear sac. This is thought to be due to a gradual narrowing of the upper end of the tear duct. Sometimes the tear duct is not completely blocked but is too narrow to drain all the tears.
You may not need treatment if the watering is mild or does not bother you much. However, if the watering is very bothersome a Probe & Syringe procedure can be performed quickly and easily here in the rooms. This procedure aims to unblock the drainage channel through probing of the blockage.