One of the major reasons for watery eyes is evaporation of your natural tear film off the front of the eye. This can be caused by being in a dry environment, out in the wind or under a ceiling fan for example. It may also occur just because you don’t blink often enough. When the natural tears dry up for whatever reason, it triggers the stimulation of the accessory tear gland that secrets a watery tear that flushes across the eye. It doesn’t have the right consistency to stick to the front of your eye so it runs on off. Proper diagnosis through an eye evaluation can help determine how to best correct the problem.
There are numerous causes of dry eyes. Age, hormonal changes, environmental situation, secondary to medication use, inadequate blinking and poor tear quality. Helpful general hints for improving the problem are drink more water, decrease caffeine intake, evaluate your surroundings (IE dry air, fume circulating air, dusty environment), take omega 3 fish oil (available in office), use artificial tears, or use an eye moisturizing gel at night. The best way to know what to do is to have your eyes checked and have a dry eye work up performed. This will take into account numerous factors in order to determine the proper approach for your particular situation which could include the use of hot compresses and lid scrubs, topical or oral antibiotics or steroids, tear stimulants or punctual plugs. Dealing with dry eye is a long term event that takes patience and compliance for success. Get your eyes checked. Find out what is causing your dryness and let’s start getting it under control.
Terry Hawks, O.D.
This article was written by Dr. Hawks