‘Why do my eyes water constantly?’

Jan 31, 2020
One Starts at 60 reader is wondering why their eyes are constantly watering. Source: Getty.

Q: Why do my eyes water constantly? It’s very annoying.

The technical name for overflow of tears is epiphora. While allergies may make your eyes watery, constant watering of the eyes can be due to many other reasons.

Dry eyes

Oddly, your eye produces excess tears to combat the surface dryness. So, you could be experiencing watery eyes due to having dry eyes. And dry eyes may be attributed to various causes, including lid inflammation.

Poor tear drainage

Tears travel from your tear duct opening (the puncta), into your nose. Your tear ducts may be blocked, due to inflammation or infection. Other than practicing normal eye hygiene, like cleaning your eyelashes and replacing makeup regularly, it’s tricky to self-prevent duct blockages, as it’s often just due to natural ageing, previous injury or eye surgery, and some general health problems.

Poor lid position

As you age, your lower lid sags and pulls away from your eye — this affects the way tears drain and can cause excessive tearing, eye dryness and irritation.

It’s tricky to find the reason behind your watery eyes without a comprehensive eye exam. Your optometrist will be able to take a detailed history of your health, explore your symptoms and examine your eyes carefully under a microscope called a slit-lamp. Your optometrist may then suggest further treatment options, and in some cases, refer you to an ophthalmologist if needed. In order to put your eye health in the best hands, I’d suggest you look for a qualified optometrist near you.

Starts at 60 previously spoke to Karen Walsh, optometrist at Specsavers, about how to maintain good eye health as we age. She said going for regular eye check-ups is an important part of managing your health.

“A routine, regular eye test is a really good idea,” Walsh said. “We say every two years but to be honest, I do see patients a bit more often than that.”

You can read the full story here.

If you have a question for Starts at 60’s health experts, email it to [email protected].

Important information: The information provided on this website is of a general nature and information purposes only. It does not take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. It is not personalised health advice and must not be relied upon as such. Before making any decisions about your health or changes to medication, diet and exercise routines you should determine whether the information is appropriate in terms of your particular circumstances and seek advice from a medical professional.

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