Watering eyes are an annoying symptom that can be caused by many conditions. Read below to learn some of the top reasons why your eyes might be watering.
Our optometrists at Mill Creek Family Eye Center specialize in diagnosing and treating eye disease. If your symptoms persist after several days, it is important to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.
1. Something in Your Eye
When something gets in your eye, your body’s natural response is to flush it out (hence the watering). Common irritants include eyelashes, dirt, sand and even particles in smoke and things like hairspray. Sometimes you cannot see the irritant.
If your eye is having difficulty flushing out the irritants by itself, you can assist by taking a small glass of clean water and pouring it slowly into your eye. You can also get in the shower and aim a gentle stream of water near your eye to help flush out debris.
Whether it be a pet allergy, dust allergy or a seasonal allergy, one of the most common allergy symptoms is watering eyes. Allergies will also typically be accompanied by a runny nose, cough, sneezing and red, itchy eyes.
Your doctor can help you to come up with a plan to relieve your allergy symptoms, including watery eyes. Solutions can include, antihistamines, nasal sprays, decongestants, saline rinses and more.
3. Pink Eye
One of the most common symptoms of pink eye is watery eyes. The most obvious symptom of pink eye is the pink/red coloration of the eye. Pink eye is either viral or bacterial. If your pink eye is bacterial, you can treat it with antibiotics. If it is viral, unfortunately your body must heal on its own.
4. Dry Eye Syndrome
It might seem counterintuitive, but one of the main symptoms of dry eye syndrome is watery eyes.
Dry eyes can be caused by many different things. Some common reasons include inflamed oil glands, hormones aging and autoimmune conditions. Your eye doctor will help you to determine the cause of your dry eye and craft a treatment plan to fit your unique case. Treatment options often include eye drops, warm compresses and fish oil. At Mill Creek Family Eye Center, our office has invested in a Lipiflow instrument, a breakthrough device for treating the leading cause of dry eye.
Styes. They always manage to come at the most inopportune times (your wedding, family pictures, that big presentation you have). Watery eyes often accompany styes. The best treatment is often to let the stye heal on its own. Use a warm compress to ease symptoms and resist the urge to pop the stye (this spreads the infection). If your stye lasts longer than two weeks, it is important to consult your eye doctor.
6. Eye Scratches
Common eye irritants like sand and dirt can cause superficial scratches on the surface of the eye. These scratches (also called corneal abrasions) will heal on their own in a couple days, but will often cause the eyes to be watery in the healing process. If your scratch covers more than half of the eye, it is important to see an eye doctor to take preventive measures against infection.
7. Contact Lenses
If a contact becomes ripped or torn, it can cause the eye to become irritated and watery. If you wear contacts and have watery eyes, it is important to take them out and inspect them for any abnormalities. You should not continue to wear contacts that are ripped or torn. If the watering continues, it is important to visit your eye doctor to ensure that you have not developed an infection.
Blepharitis, (aka inflammation of the eyelid) is another common cause of watery eyes. Blepharitis occurs when the tiny glands of the eyelids become clogged with debris. Additional symptoms of blepharitis include dry eye, redness and irritation.
Firstline treatment for blepharitis is to wash the face daily with baby wash on a warm washcloth. You can also use special eyelid wipes from the store.
If your symptoms continue after several days, there are other treatment options you can pursue. Treatment options include Blephex, a painless procedure done to exfoliate the eyelid and remove debris. The optometrists at Mill Creek Family specialize in this procedure in addition to the treatment of blepharitis.