Watery or tearing eyes may have a variety of causes. As discussed in the dry eye section, patients with mild dry eyes may often have tearing as their primary complaint.
Watering and tearing eyes are common during the allergy season. In this case, the tearing is often accompanied by itching or burning. Various antihistamine eye drops can be quite useful. In addition to the medical causes of tearing eyes, we can also have anatomic causes such as a blocked nasolacrimal duct. This is the duct that carries tears from the eye to the nose.
If a blockage is found in the nasolacrimal system, then a surgery called a dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) can be performed to restore proper drainage. This surgery creates a bypass so that the tears drain directly from the lacrimal sac into the nose. Dr. Yohai is an expert in performing dacryocystorhinostomy. Please go to dryohai.com for more information on lacrimal surgery.
Tearing can also occur due to a blockage in the lacrimal punctae or canaliculi. These are the openings on the eyelid and the fine tubes that go through the eyelid to the tear sac. If this is the case, then a Jones tube procedure will need to be performed. More information can be found about this procedure on dryohai.com.
As discussed in the section on reconstructive eyelid surgery, abnormal eyelid position such as entropion or ectropion can also cause tearing because the tear drain in the eyelid is pointed away from the surface of the eye. Lastly, everything can be normal, but the actual punctum which catches the tears can be too small. The punctae can be enlarged in a simple office procedure.