How to Stop Watery Eyes

How to Stop Watery Eyes: 5 Things to Try at Home

When your eyes keep watering, it might seem like they're always teary. It may even feel like you're constantly crying even though you’re not. While it can be a tad annoying, you're not alone; many people go through this. 

Our eyes can water for various reasons, like dust, allergies, or even staring at a screen for too long. It's important to know it's a natural way our eyes try to protect themselves. Let's dive deeper to understand why this happens and explore five things you can do at home to help our eyes feel more comfortable.

5 Treatments for Watery Eyes You Can Try Right Now

The best solution to stop watery eyes is different for everyone and depends largely on what caused them in the first place. 

If you do decide to see an eye doctor, they might not give you any specific treatment at first.

Sometimes, they'll suggest a "watchful waiting" approach. This means you'll keep an eye on when and how often your eyes get watery. By noticing these patterns, your doctor can better figure out what's causing it. From there, they can give you the best advice to help your eyes.

Let's look at some things your eye doctor might suggest to help with watery eyes.

Use Warm Compresses

Let’s start with the simplest solution first. 

Sometimes eye blockages caused by a build-up of oil can be the main culprit behind your watery eyes as they attempt to overproduce tears to compensate. A warm compress can help reduce blockages while also relieving eye pain or irritation. 

You can purchase an eye compress, or make your own using a washcloth and warm water. Simply wet the washcloth and apply to your eyelids for 10 to 15 minutes. Doing this several times a day can help encourage tear flow and remove blockages.

Get a Humidifier

Dry air, especially during the winter months, can really do a number on your eyes. Ironically, dry eyes often cause excessive eye watering. The best solution is to use a cool indoor humidifier to try and return more moisture to the air. The best part is humidifiers can be found in most stores like Walmart, Walgreens, or CVS.

Treat Your Allergies

Allergies are another frequent contributor to watery eyes. Allergies can easily dry out your eyes or cause an overproduction of tears that can leave you with that uncomfortable watery feeling. If you know you have seasonal allergies, consider picking up some antihistamine eye drops, or even an oral antihistamine.

Many of these allergy medications are available over the counter and can provide immediate relief from itchy, watery eyes. If symptoms persist, you may need to see a doctor for something a bit stronger. 

OTC or Prescription Eye Drops

Did you know they make eye drops and artificial tears specifically to help stop watery eyes? Most of these eye drops are over-the-counter, easy to use, and can be applied to lubricate the eye’s surface and stop irritation. However, if you find that the OTC stuff just isn’t cutting it, your doctor may be able to give you prescription eye drops or ocular steroids that should help.

Eye Medications and Antibiotic Eye Drops

While we certainly hope your watery eyes aren’t being caused by an eye infection or other serious eye condition, it can happen. Oral and ocular antibiotics and other medicated eye drops may be required to keep an infection under control and reduce symptoms.

If you think you have an eye infection, it is very important you schedule an appointment with your eye doctor right away. Left unchecked, eye infections can seriously damage your eyesight.

What Are the Symptoms of Watery Eyes

Sometimes watery eyes are just the tip of the iceberg and can lead to tons of other problems with your vision. You might notice things like blurry vision, gunk in your eyes, problems with your eyelids, feeling like something's in your eye, or discomfort in bright lights. Some people even find that their eyelids get dry and flaky, or don't sit right when they close them.

When Should You See an Eye Doctor for Watery Eyes?

If these home treatments don't improve your condition or if things suddenly worsen, you should see your Grene Vision Group doctor about what to do next. 

Remember, watery eyes paired with symptoms like vision changes, eye pain, or a constant feeling of something in your eye could be signs of a more serious problem. It's important to get medical help immediately if you experience any of these.

What Causes Watery Eyes?

Epiphora is when your eyes water more than usual. It can be due to different reasons, habits, or outside factors. Depending on the cause, the solution might vary.

Complications from Makeup Usage

Did you know using makeup might be the cause of your watery eyes? Wearing makeup can sometimes lead to problems like infections, styes, and itchy eyes, making them water. Rubbing your eyes with makeup on can add to these issues. 

It's also not a good idea to sleep with makeup on. Always take off your makeup before bed and give the area around your eyes a good clean to ensure no makeup is left behind.

Complications from Your Environment

Being in cold, windy, or smoky places can make watery eyes even worse. Sometimes, these settings can dry out your eyes. If you're around a lot of dust or things you're allergic to in the air, it might block your tear ducts, the tubes in your eyes that drain excess tears. 

Complications with Making Tears

Making and draining tears is a detailed process that's linked to a special system in our eyes called the secretory system. If something in this system isn't working just right, it can affect how we produce and get rid of tears. Problems can come from either producing too many tears or not draining them well.

Producing Too Many Tears

Eyes have three types of tears: basal/lubricating tears, reflex tears, and emotional tears.

Basal tears come out slowly and help keep our eyes moist and safe. They act like a shield to keep our eyes in good shape.

Reflexive tears appear quickly when something affects the eye. Different eye problems can cause this, like allergies, inflammation, certain eye disorders, injuries, or even dry eyes. Simple things like hair spray, perfumes, or cutting onions can also make your eyes tear up.

Emotional tears happen when we feel strong emotions, whether we're super happy or really sad. Besides showing our feelings, these tears also help get rid of stress and release natural soothing agents.

Not Draining Tears Properly

If your eyes aren't draining well, it might be because of something like a blocked tear duct. These ducts are located near the corner of our eyes, close to our nose. When they get clogged, tears can't move from our eyes to our nose where they usually evaporate or get absorbed.

So, instead of draining away, the tears stay on the eye, making it feel watery. If tears keep collecting without draining, there's a risk of getting an eye infection.

Many things can cause these ducts to get blocked: having narrow ducts, ongoing eye irritation, swelling, eye infections, glaucoma, past face surgeries, or even cancer treatments.

Risk Factors for Watery Eyes

Everyone can experience eyes that water too much, but it's especially common in babies and older folks.

Many newborns, between 6% to 20%, have a condition called nasolacrimal duct obstruction or dacryostenosis. This makes their eyes water a lot and sometimes have gunk. The good news is, for most babies, this issue sorts itself out as they grow or with a little help like massages, eye drops, and special creams. By the time most kids turn one, about 90% of them don't have this problem anymore.

On the other hand, older people might face issues with the position of their eyelids. There are two main problems: entropion malposition, where the eyelid turns in, and ectropion malposition, where it turns out. Because of these changes, their eyes might water more since the eyelids aren't guiding the tears properly. If needed, there's a surgical option to correct these eyelid issues.

Book an Exam at Grene Vision Group in Wichita

Hopefully, these nifty at-home tricks to relieve watery eyes did the trick for you. But if your eyes continue to water, or you start having trouble seeing, you need to see an eye doctor. 

Schedule an appointment with the vision experts in the Wichita, Kansas area at Grene Vision Group. We’ll examine your eyes to find the cause of your excessive watering and create a unique treatment plan to relieve your symptoms.

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