Is it a simple irritation or another syndrome that should alert you? Watery eye is a constant flow of tears that can become a nuisance on a daily basis, or even a sign of a pathology that needs to be treated! Dr. Stephanie Zwillinger and her COP9 team inform you here about the causes, associated symptoms and related pathologies. But also what are the possible treatments, and especially: when to make an appointment with your ophthalmologist? Take advantage of the advice, information and tips in this article!
What is watery eye?
A teary eye, or both eyes, is a natural and normal phenomenon. Weeping depends on the lacrimal gland, present in the front of each eye. The lacrimal ducts will allow a permanent humidification of the ocular surface. The cornea is cleaned and protected by this lacrimal secretion.
However, excessive watering of the eye, which is produced in the tear ducts, can be caused by a dysfunction. Even with frequent blinking, the ocular surface becomes excessively moist. Often, other symptoms are added to this problem, such as redness or discomfort of the lacrimal gland.
The eye can also produce this watering at night, and one wakes up with the sensation of having the eyelids stuck together and with a slight discomfort.
Find out in the following section what symptoms should alert you in the case of watery eye… As it may be important, even urgent, to consult a specialist!
I have a watery eye: is it normal?
The COP9 team reassures you that having an occasional watery eye is common and harmless.
Nevertheless, watery eyes are abnormal when they become annoying in daily life and are accompanied by other symptoms. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to comment at the end of this article.
Symptoms related to watery eye include:
- a constant over-humidification of the eyes
- Itching and discomfort, like having sand in your eyes;
- a painful tingling and burning sensation;
- red eyes can be observed
Dr. Zwillinger’s COP9 team reminds you that watery eyes should be regularly hydrated, with a saline solution. Watery eyes are a natural defense as well as a lubrication of the eye, and you should not try to force your eyes to stay dry.
There are many possible causes for this phenomenon:
- Ocular dryness (for example: dry eye syndrome);
- an obstruction of the lacrimal ducts causing a dysfunction of the elimination of tears;
- inflammation of the eye (e.g. conjunctivitis);
- an eyelid disorder (read our article on this subject!).
If you notice any discomfort in your tear duct, any of the symptoms listed below (or more), your eyes are irritated and painful to blink, or your tear fluid is excessive: make an appointment with an ophthalmologist for an ophthalmological examination and check-up.
What are the causes of watery eye?
Your ophthalmologist, during the appointment, will perform a series of examinations with specialized instruments to find the reason for the watery eye.
The COP9 team presents a comprehensive list of causes of watery eye:
- a pathology such as blepharitis, conjunctivitis or keratitis;
- dust particles in the eyes, causing inflammation of the eye surface;
- Eye fatigue: a lot of time spent in front of a screen can cause dry eyes;
- certain medications: remember to read the information leaflet and the side effects;
- Wearing contact lenses for too long (take advantage of our advice in this article!).
There are also less serious cases of watery eye related to exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke or a draught. There are many different causes for lacrimation accompanied by red eyes.
Remember: if the discomfort, the itching and the lacrimation are regular, you may want to go and see an ophthalmologist for a diagnosis.
Which ophthalmic care for watery eye?
At the end of the appointment with the ophthalmologist, depending on the pathology, a prescription with an adapted medical treatment may be prescribed.
The initial treatment of dry eyes is based on artificial tears (eye drops) or a healing ointment in the case of a pathology such as keratitis.
The objective is to give relief to the patient, to lubricate the eye with eye drops or ophthalmic gel, and to encourage the proper functioning of the lacrimal glands.
The COP9 teams advice:
- The instillation of the eye drops must be regular and rigorous in order to ensure a successful healing and to avoid the recurrence of watery eye;
- It is advisable to stop wearing contact lenses and to opt for glasses during the time it takes for the eyes to heal;
- Orthoptic re-education allows us to work the eye and improve the situation with regard to watery eyes!
Our COP9 team is composed of two orthoptists, do not hesitate to make an appointment with one of them by clicking on orthoptics.