Watering eyes

Watery eyes occur if too many tears are produced or if they cannot drain away properly. The problem can affect anyone, causing blurred vision, sore eyelids, general discomfort, irritation and sticky eyes.

What causes watering eyes?

There are several possible causes for watering eyes.

Usually, glands in your eyelids secrete an oily substance that slows the evaporation of tears between blinks. When these glands don’t function properly, you may get dry patches on your eyes – known as dry eye syndrome. The patches become sore, and extra tears are produced as a reflex. This is the most likely cause of watery eyes.

Other possible causes include:

  • The lower eyelid sagging away from the eye – this makes it difficult for tears to reach the drainage ducts
  • Eyelids that roll inwards
  • Inflammation of the edges of the eyelids
  • Blocked or narrowed tear ducts
  • Eye irritation (for example, from chemical fumes or grit)
  • An eye infection, such as conjunctivitis
  • An allergy

What help is available?

If you have persistent watering eyes or any lumps or swelling around your eyes visit your Specsavers optometrist. They will identify your symptoms.

If you have dry eye syndrome, you may be given lubricating eye drops, advised to avoid activities that aggravate your symptoms or advised on some simple eye hygiene tips.

Your GP may also prescribe additional medication if the cause is an allergy or infection. In some cases, you may then be referred to an ophthalmologist for further examination of your tear ducts.

Did you know?

AA Members are entitled to a free eye test (valued at $60), once every two years. Remember to present your AA Membership card in store.

Frequently asked questions

Free exam for AA Members applies to standard eye examinations only, normally valued at $60. Excludes contact lens examination and visual field checks. Limited to one per AA Member every two years. Available to current AA Members upon presentation of AA Membership card.