There are times at which we expect our eyes to tear. We may tear up when slicing onions or when watching a dramatic movie, for example. However, it would naturally be surprising for the eyes to water for no good reason. There is a balance that is needed in the eye. The tear film that is produced by small glands in the eyes contains just the right amount of oil, mucus, and water to keep the eyes comfortably moist but not overly wet. When the eyes are teary more often than not, there is a need to understand why. With this understanding, an eye doctor can find a solution to reduce the problem.
Excessive tearing of the eyes is not necessarily straightforward. There are several potential reasons why this may be happening. The first place we usually look is within the tear film itself.
The eyes are always producing tears. The fluid comes from the lacrimal glands in the upper eyelids. In these glands, and also with the help of the meibomian glands, a ratio of oil, mucus, and water combine. Once the tear film exits the glands, it is moved across the eyes’ surface by blinking. After moving across the eye, tears move to the inner, lower corner where puncta allow them to drain into tiny tubes. This relatively complex journey could go wrong at multiple points.
What Causes Excessive Tearing?
It may seem reasonable to assume that too many tears in the eye means that the glands at work are overproducing. This isn’t always the case. Often, we find that dry eye syndrome or an inflammatory condition called blepharitis causes excessive tearing. Additionally, tearing may be related to a malposition of the eyelid, such as:
- Entropion, which is an inward turning eyelid. When the eyelid tilts inward, contact between the ocular surface and the eyelashes causes inflammation.
- Ectropion, an outward turning eyelid, can result in irritation and excessive tearing due to a shift in the position of the punctal drains through which tears exit the eye.
An experienced ophthalmologist can accurately identify the cause of watery eyes as well as solutions to restore optimal eye health. To schedule a visit in our Amarillo office to discuss your watery eyes, call (806) 351-1177.