Watery eyes, also known as epiphora, is a common condition that many people experience. There are various reasons why we may have watery eyes, ranging from allergies to an underlying medical condition. While the symptoms of watery eyes may seem minor, they can be quite bothersome and affect your quality of life. Understanding the causes of watery eyes can help you identify and manage the condition effectively.
We will delve into all the possible causes of watery eyes and explore how to alleviate them. So, sit back and read on to discover everything you need to know about watery eyes.
1. Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry Eye Syndrome, as previously mentioned, can actually lead to watery eyes. This confusion can be attributed to the fact that dry eyes occur when tear production and drainage are not balanced, which can cause irritation and discomfort. This, in turn, can result in an excessive production of watery tears as the body attempts to compensate for the dryness.
2. Irritation from Weather
Irritation from weather is a common cause of watery eyes. Dry and windy weather can cause eye irritation, leading to excessive tearing. In addition, exposure to bright sunlight and smog can also irritate the eyes, causing tearing. This irritation from weather can be particularly troublesome for those with dry eye syndrome, which is another cause of watery eyes. It’s important to protect your eyes from the elements by wearing sunglasses and avoiding exposure to smog and other pollutants. If weather-related irritation persists, it’s important to seek medical attention to rule out other potential causes of watery eyes.
3. Allergies and Infections
When it comes to watery eyes, allergies and infections are some of the most common causes. Allergies, such as allergic conjunctivitis, affect millions of people and can cause the eyes to itch, burn, and tear up. Infections like pink eye or sinusitis can also lead to watery eyes, often accompanied by other symptoms like a sore throat or runny nose.
It’s important to properly diagnose these conditions and treat them accordingly, as they can not only cause discomfort but also potentially spread to others.
4. Blocked Tear Ducts
Blocked tear ducts can cause significant discomfort, with the most common symptom being watery eyes. This condition can occur in people of any age, including infants. The blockage is caused by a variety of factors, including tumors, allergies, and infections.
The obstruction prevents tears from properly draining from the eye, causing an excess of moisture and increasing the risk of infection. The condition is most commonly diagnosed through symptoms such as crusting, blurred vision, and sticky white or yellow discharge.
Blocked tear ducts can be addressed through medical intervention, including medication or surgery, depending on the severity of the obstruction. Those experiencing symptoms of eye discomfort should consult with a medical professional to determine the best course of treatment.
5. Excess Eye Strain
Excess eye strain, often caused by prolonged usage of digital devices, is a common factor leading to watery eyes. People tend to blink less while using digital devices, resulting in eye fatigue, blurred vision, and at times, watery and dry eyes. This eye strain can also lead to eye irritation and discomfort.
6. Bright Light and Smog Exposure
Bright light and smog exposure can also lead to watery eyes. This is because exposure to excessive bright light and pollution can irritate the eyes and cause them to tear up excessively. When the eyes are exposed to heavy amounts of smog and soot, they can also become blurry, causing temporary vision problems. This is especially problematic for those living in areas where air pollution is prevalent.
One of the common causes mentioned in the article is conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. It is a condition where the white part of the eye turns pink or red, accompanied by symptoms like itchiness, soreness, and stickiness of lashes due to pus production. Allergic conjunctivitis is a type of conjunctivitis that occurs due to airborne allergens. Conjunctivitis is not contagious when caused by allergies, unlike the viral or bacterial conjunctivitis.
8. Bell’s Palsy
Bell’s palsy is a condition that causes temporary facial paralysis, and it can also bring ocular signs and symptoms such as dry eye syndrome, excessive tearing, and the inability to close the eye. The facial nerve damage caused by Bell’s palsy results in hemifacial paralysis, causing facial deformity, impaired blinking, and disrupted speech. This condition is often caused by inflammation leading to swelling of the facial nerve, which results in nerve inhibition and additional dry eye problems. If you are experiencing a sudden onset of facial paralysis accompanied by watering eyes, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, as prompt diagnosis and treatment can improve your chances of recovery.
9. Sjogren’s Syndrome
Sjogren’s syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disorder that can cause reduced tear and saliva production, leading to dry eyes and a dry mouth. While dry eyes can be caused by a variety of factors, Sjogren’s syndrome is a particularly serious condition that requires medical attention. People with Sjogren’s syndrome may also experience dry skin, fatigue, and joint or muscle pain.
While there is no cure for Sjogren’s syndrome, there are treatments that can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. Your doctor may recommend artificial tears or prescription medications to help increase tear and saliva production. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to help alleviate symptoms such as dry eyes.
10. Thyroid Problems
Thyroid problems are known to cause a multitude of eye problems, including watery eyes. This includes both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. In some cases, severe hypothyroidism can cause swelling around the eyes, while hyperthyroidism may cause bulgy or staring eyes. Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) is a specific condition that causes watery eyes, bulging eyes and double vision. It is estimated that around 25-50% of patients with a thyroid problem will develop some form of TED. However, it is important to note that not all thyroid problems will result in eye-related symptoms. If you experience watery eyes in conjunction with other symptoms of a thyroid problem, it is important to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.