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Why Are My Eyes Watery?

4th August 2020

The official term for ‘Watery Eyes’ is Epiphora. It is a condition where eyes produce too many tears, or they cannot drain tears away properly.

Watery Eyes are caused by a complex chemical fluid that our body naturally produces. These chemicals kill germs and keep your eyes clean, nourished and protected. They also give the cornea its final polish, which helps to accurately focus light for clear vision.

Causes of Watery Eyes

  • Excessive production of tears (dry eye syndrome)
  • Blocked tear duct (small tubes that tears drain into)
  • An abnormal eyelid position
  • An allergy or infection (conjunctivitis)

Anyone can be affected by Epiphora. This condition can lead to blurred vision, sore eyelids, redness, and general discomfort. It’s normal for your eyes to water when exposed to cold wind or peeling onions, this is due to excessive tear production and usually resolves on its own. However, if persistent watery eyes can be treated by probing the blocked passage (especially in infants), using surgical procedures to clear the passage or create an alternative path for the fluid to flow.

Excessive tear fluid that overflows on to the lower lid and cheek should be dabbed with a soft clean tissue; wiping with a sideways movement can rub the cells off the wet skin of the lids, making them sore and irritable.

You should see an eye care specialist if you are experiencing watery eyes where the fluid is sticky, there is a frank discharge, or associated with red and sore eyes.


Find out more about dry eye and MGD.

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