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Constant Eye Watering
CommMajor posted:
My eyes water all of the time. I have to always have tissues with me. People think I'm always crying lol! I've been drinking more water, using eye drops, not wearing make up but they still water - all the time. Any thoughts on this? Any tips or ideas? What could be causing this? Thanks!
Alan M Kozarsky, MD responded:
Sorry that you are having a problem with excessive tearing. This is not an uncommon issue. It has nothing to do with your water intake.

In general, the cause is either excessive amounts of tears being produced (irritation) versus a blocked exit and overflow of normal amounts of tears. (bad plumbing).

In the absence of any irritation of your eyes, the problem is probably an obstruction to the normal exit pathway for your tears. Tears exit through small openings called puncta on the edges of your eyelids near your nose. Through those openings, the tears travel to a tear sac near your nose then into your nose and eventually into the back of your throat. That is why you have to blow your nose after your cry. It is the normal pathway for tears exiting the eye.

The tiny openings on the eyelids can become blocked as well as can any of the channels which lead into your nose. This will cause tears to "spill" over your eyelids. Sort of like a blocked drain spout with rain water spilling over the gutters of a roof. If the eyelids are not positioning tightly against the eye or there is any loose eye skin blocking the entry into the tear duct, this can also cause spillover tearing.

An examination by an ophthalmologist can lead to the precise cause of excess tearing. If the symptoms are substantial, the eyelid or tear duct "plumbing" can be surgically repaired.

Believe it or not, a common "irritation" cause of excess tearing is dry eyes. When the surface of the eye dries to an irritating degree, your eyes automatically and reflexively tear causing excess watering.

The answer to your problem is to have a comprehensive examination by an ophthalmologist who can make a diagnosis and suggest treatment if necessary.
CommMajor replied to Alan M Kozarsky, MD's response:
Thanks, Alan. My Doc says there's no obstruction or irritant. He says "blink more" but that's not helping. Any thoughts or ideas on that? Again, thank you so much for your wonderful explanation!
Alan M Kozarsky, MD replied to CommMajor's response:
I am not aware of recommending that a person "blink more" to relieve excess (spillover) tearing.

If you are bothered excessively by the tearing, maybe its time for another opinion by a specialist in the tear drainage system. Go to and select the "Find an Eye MD" tab on the top. Then search for an "oculoplastic" specialist closest to you. This will help you find an ophthalmologist who has completed a postgraduate fellowship which includes assessment and repair of the tear drainage system.
CommMajor replied to Alan M Kozarsky, MD's response:
That's terrific advice - I will definitely do that. I'm always open to 2nd opinions. Thanks, Alan, much appreciated!!
CommMajor replied to Alan M Kozarsky, MD's response:
Also, 'oculoplastic' isn't an option in the search on that website. Is there something else I could search for to get the same results?
Alan M Kozarsky, MD replied to CommMajor's response:
Try "plastics/reconstructive". Sorry

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