Tears play an important part in eye health — it is their job to nourish and lubricate the eye, keeping it functioning (and feeling) properly. Tears are produced in the lacrimal glands in the upper eyelid and then drain out through tear ducts and into the nose. To see how the tear process works, watch this video from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. However, sometimes things go wrong and you produce extra tears, or the normal amount of tears you do produce doesn’t drain properly, and your eyes water.
What are some of the reasons eyes water?
- Weather. If you’ve ever walked outside during a blustery day or even gone for a jog, you know that wind and cold weather can make your eyes water. This is because these elements dry out your eyes and your body creates extra tears to keep them lubricated in order to protect them.
- Allergens. The same things that trigger your nasal allergies — pollen, mold, dander, dust, smoke — trigger your eye allergies. When you suffer from allergies and your encounter any of these things, your immune system produces histamine, which causes numerous symptoms, including itchy and/or watery eyes.
- Infection. Your eyes will also produce more tears when you have an infection as an attempt to wash away the germs. Unfortunately no matter how hard the tear system works, an eye infection requires medical attention and is extremely contagious. Two examples of eye infections are conjunctivitis (pink eye) and blepharitis.
- Improperly functioning tear ducts. WebMD explains: “If a tear duct becomes blocked or fails to open, tears cannot drain from the eye properly. The duct may fill with fluid and become swollen, inflamed, and sometimes infected.” Babies under a year old are likely to have blocked tear ducts, but luckily it tends to clear up on it’s own without any long-term effects. For adults, this condition is usually due to injury or a medical condition and needs treatment.
What should you do if your eyes water excessively?
Whenever you have issues with your eyes, it’s best to see a doctor and we have just the right ones. Our expert physicians at CT Sinus Center are trained in all-things allergy-related and will take the time to sit down with you, discuss your symptoms and medical history, and perform a thorough exam in order to determine exactly what is causing your eyes to over-water. Once the results are in, we will develop a treatment plan that is right for you and your lifestyle.
Treatment may include any of the medications listed in our blog “Should You Drop Your Allergy Eye Medications?” or, if it is determined that you have allergies, one of our two outpatient procedures:
- Balloon Sinus Dilation, which will reshape your nasal passages, promoting draining and natural healing
- Turbinate Reductions, in which the tissue in the nose that supports the nasal passages is decreased, decreasing the size of the turbinate and quickly increasing airflow
Call 860-BALLOON today to schedule your appointment at one of our four conveniently-located offices and turn those watery eyes into tears of joy.