We’ve all experienced the discomfort of watery eyes at some point in our lives. Our eyes sometimes produce too many tears, and this can be caused by a variety of factors like irritation, blocked tear drainage, or inflammation. When too many tears are produced, it can appear as if one is crying, with tears on the eyelids, cheeks, and face.
What is the Purpose of Tears?
Tears are naturally produced by lacrimal glands, which are found in the upper eyelids. Tears are a combination of water, oils, and mucus, and serve to protect the eyes from dryness and irritation. In simple terms, tears lubricate the eyes while nourishing their delicate surfaces every time we blink. Once tears are produced, they drain into the nose through our tear ducts, located at the corners of the eyes nearest the nose.
What Causes Watery Eyes?
When the eyes produce too many tears, watery eyes are often the result. This is an overproduction of tears, and can be caused in a number of ways, including:
Allergies – reactions to allergens like pollen or dust can cause the eyes to become red and inflamed and spur the overproduction of tears. This is the body’s way of trying to wash the allergens away.
Irritations – similar to allergens, irritants like aerosol sprays, smoke, and fumes from cutting onions or eating spicy foods can also lead to excess tear production. Along with increased tears, one may experience burning or itchy eyes as well as redness.
Dry Eye Syndrome – despite its name, dry-eye syndrome may actually lead to the body producing too many tears. Dry-eye syndrome is a condition caused by a range of factors from environmental exposure to sun and wind, the side effects of certain medications, stress, or the result of autoimmune disorders like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. As the eyes become dry and irritated, the lacrimal glands spring into action, producing so many tears that their production overwhelms the ability of tear ducts to drain them efficiently.
Infections – as with irritants and allergies, certain infections may cause irritated eyes that suddenly produce too many tears. The tears are attempting to protect the eyes by washing away germs and bacteria caused by infections like conjunctivitis or blepharitis.
Lacrimal stenosis – this term refers to the condition that results when tear ducts are blocked. Although uncommon, it can cause the tears to overflow the eyelids (called epiphora). Severe blockage may result in the spread of infection from the nose through the blocked lacrimal duct and into the eyes, which can cause other health conditions.
What Can be Done About Watery Eyes?
In most cases, watery eyes resolve on their own once irritants are removed from the equation. Smoke and cooking fumes can be eliminated through adequate ventilation, while environmental exposure from wind and sun can be reduced through the use of sunglasses, helping to protect the eyes from further irritation.
In cases where watery eyes are caused by infection, medicated eyedrops and antibiotics may be required. The eye experts at TheraLife produce several products specifically to target the discomfort of dry-eye syndrome. These products stimulate the eyes’ natural production of tears, reducing inflammation and irritation while restoring balance to tear production.
This article was brought to you by Theralife, the leader in natural cures for symptoms of eye ailments such as watery eyes, dry eye syndrome, blepharitis, and much more.