Sometimes one may get watery eyes. This can lead to spillage of the tears on the eyelids and the cheeks as though one is crying. One always gets worried and is disturbed by this condition. Is there anything which can be done? Yes, depending on the cause.

Tears are essential for the eyes to see clearly. The tears keep the front round portion of the eye, the cornea clear and provide both lubrication and nourishment to the human eye. Every time one blinks, the eyes are washed by the tears produced by the tear glands on the surface of the eye. In response to emotional changes, the lacrimal gland produces tears as a reflex. The tears can be produced in response to inflammation or irritation. Tears normally drain out of the eye and into the nose through ducts located in the inner margin of the lids close to the nose.

Most develop watery eyes due to overproduction of tears. There are various reasons for this.

Dry eyes:

It may not make sense when we say dry eyes can lead to watering. Dry eyes lead to reflex production of more tears, more than can drain out through the lacrimal passages and this leads to watery eyes. In older individuals the tear production reduces. The excess use of computers and mobile and exposure to air-conditioned environments with less humidity in the air can lead to dry eyes. Some medical conditions like autoimmune diseases especially rheumatoid arthritis can lead to dry eyes. The patients complain of blurred vision, itchy eyes, burning in the eyes and this is indicative of dry eyes. While one can use over the counter artificial tears, sometimes in severe dry eyes surgery may be needed.


Most common allergy-inducing agents are pollen, dust mites and moulds. Some may get reaction to exhaust fumes, aerosol sprays, perfumes, and cigarette smoke. The eyes become red and irritated and the patient’s eyes become itchy and children tend to rub their eyes a lot.


The tears tend to wash away the germs and discharge and keep the eyes safe. Conjunctivitis affects the membrane covering the eyes and blepharitis affects the lid margins. Conjunctivitis could be due to viral infection or bacterial infection. In this condition there is eye pain, blurring of vision, redness and foreign body sensation of the eyes. The eyes stick together in the morning and there is lots of discharge from the eyes along with watering from the eyes. The lids are swollen and feel heavy. Blepharitis disturbs the tear film and in this condition,  there is redness of the eyes and watering.


Dry air, bright light, wind and smoke or even a foreign body or eyelash can irritate the eyes and produce excess tears.

Eye strain:

Working for a long duration on the laptop or watching videos on the mobile can lead to excess eye strain and this can, in turn, lead to watery eyes.

Eye strain

Lacrimal duct block:

A block in any of the drainage channels can lead to watering. Sometimes this can give rise to a purulent discharge. Surgery may be the only option in many of these cases.

Eyelid disorders:

When the upper lid does not close there could be watering of the eyes. This is because of exposure to the wind and this leads to dryness of the eyes and can lead to reflex watering. In case there is a looseness of the lower lid and the lids are turned outwards, there could be watering of the eyes.

Most of the causes of watering from the eyes are not of serious nature and can be remedies easily with the use of drops. But it is best to seek advice of the eye doctor to ensure proper management of the condition. If there is watering which cannot be clearly pinpointed to one cause or watering from a long duration, or there is associated eye pain, soreness, discharge one must consult an eye doctor and seek advice urgently.

Dr. Ramesh Murthy is one of the best eye specialists and one of the best cataract surgeons in Pune and he is available at Axis Eye Clinic which is one of the best eye clinics in Pune.

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