“I know I don’t have dry eyes, they water all of the time”

I can’t tell you how many times I hear this from my patients.  It’s a hard thing to explain but in reality a dry eye will water excessively and here’s why!

1. Our eyes need to be moist

  • Vision: In order to have your best vision the tear film must be uniform and evenly distributed across the front of the eye, the cornea.  If the any part of the tear film is inadequate, the result is dryness.  Think of this like having a film or haze on your windshield of your car, until you clean it off it really makes your view difficult.
  • Good Health: If our eyes are chronically dry it increases our risk for eye infections. Within our tears are cellular componets that help to fight off infection.  In severe dry eye the white of the eye, the conjunctiva ,as well as the cornea can become scared resulting in a permanent loss of vision.
  • Because keeping our eye moist is a big part of our vision, if the eye starts to become dry our bodies reflex mechanism is to ramp up the production of tears- this results in watering, sometimes the watering is so extreme that it runs out of the eye and down the cheeks like you are crying.

2. There could be excessive “skin” causing a chronic irritation to the eye surface.

  • There is a condition of the eye called “conjunctivochalasis” that can result in watering or tearing on a chronic basis.  This excess skin is a loosening of the conjunctival tissue and is a natural part of aging.  For my patients, I examine the eye closely for this especially when convential treatments are not giving any relief.  It can be treated by surgically removing the excess tissue.

 3. There could be a problem with how your body drains the tears.

  • In the nasal corner of both the upper and lower lid is a drainage tube called the punctum.  It gathers the tears and drains them through the nose.  If the punctum is narrowed or blocked the tears will not drain properly and will result is excessive watering. 

As you can tell, the eye is a very complex part of our body.  If you are having symptoms of watering you should contact your eye care provider for an evaluation.  Sometimes simple treatments will give you great relief!

For more about dry eye visit our website: www.mayeyecare.com

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