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Often Experience Watery Eyes? Here are 10 Possible Causes

Watery eyes will make you feel uncomfortable and your eyesight can also be disturbed. Watery eye complaints can be caused by a variety of things, ranging from irritation or allergies to diseases of the immune system and nerves.

Tears are produced by the tear glands, and function to lubricate the eyeball and clean the dirt in or around the eyes. Watery eyes can be caused by a tear drainage system that is not functioning properly or because the tear glands produce excessive tears.

Although watery eyes are quite common and often heal themselves, this complaint should be due to it could indicate disease.

Various Possible Causes of Watery Eyes

Watery eyes can be caused by many things, including:

1. Allergy

One of the most common causes of watery eyes is allergies. Allergy to pollen exposure, pet dander, dust mites, or dust can cause eyes to become red, itchy and runny. This condition can be accompanied by other allergic symptoms, such as the itchy and runny nose, red and itchy skin, or shortness of breath.

2. Eye infections

Infection in the eye can cause watery eyes. When you get an eye infection, you can also experience complaints of red eyes, blurred vision, pus or blisters appearing in the eyes, red and swollen eyelids, sticky eyelids when you open your eyes in the morning, and eyes feel painful or uncomfortable.

3. Ingrown eyelashes

If the eyelashes grow inward, the eyeball can rub against the eyelashes. This can cause irritation, which triggers the eyes to produce more tears. This condition, called trichiasis, is quite dangerous because it can injure the eyeball and cause corneal damage.

4. Dry eyes

When dry, the eyes can react by producing lots of tears. One cause of dry eyes is too long to see the gadget's screen. The symptoms that accompany dry eyes are a burning sensation or discomfort in the eyeball. To prevent this, rest your eyes after looking at the gadget screen for a long time.

5. Blocked tear ducts

Narrow or blocked tear ducts due to anatomic abnormalities, inflammation, infection, or injury will cause tears to not flow properly so that they pool in the surface of the eye. Blocked tear ducts can also trigger bacterial growth, thereby causing eye infections that can make the eyes runnier.

6. Disorders of the eyelids

The eyelid is part of the eye's drainage system. If the eyelid structure is disturbed, tears will not flow normally and the eyes will runny. In addition, sagging eyelids due to aging can also hold tears and cause watery eyes.

7. Injury or irritation to the eye

Injury to the eye, for example, due to bumping, scratching, or being exposed to chemicals, can cause increased tear production as a form of body response. Eye irritation can also make the eyes water, and this can occur due to exposure to chemicals that are irritating to the eye or the use of contact lenses that are not appropriate.

Seek immediate medical attention if your eye has an injury or irritation, especially if you have impaired vision.

8. Autoimmune diseases

An autoimmune disease is a disease in which the immune system attacks other body cells. This condition can indirectly irritate dry eyes, resulting in an increased reaction to tear production. In addition to watery eyes, sufferers of autoimmune diseases can feel other complaints, such as joint pain.

9. Nervous system disorders

Nerve abnormalities in facial muscles, such as strokes, cause the eyes to not be able to blink. This results in interrupted tear drainage. Tear production can also increase because the eyes that keep it open will become dry and trigger tear production.

Also, disruption of nerve fibers in the tear glands, for example, due to tumors, injuries, or infections, can also increase tear production.

10. Effects of drugs

The use of certain drugs can cause an increase in tear production. Drugs that can make the eyes watery include chemotherapy drugs, epinephrine eye drops, and pilocarpine eye drops. Consult with your doctor about the use of drugs that can cause eye-watering.

Ways you can do to overcome watery eyes

In many cases, watery eyes generally don't need special treatment because they can improve by itself. However, this condition can also be a sign of serious eye problems that require special treatment. Treatment of watery eyes also depends on the cause. For example, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat watery eyes caused by bacterial conjunctivitis or other bacterial infections.

But to reduce your condition, here are some things you can do:

  • Compress the eyes with a warm wet towel several times a day. This is done to smooth the blocked tear ducts.
  • Avoid reading books, watching TV, or using a computer so that your eyes don't water more.
  • If caused by dry eyes, give your eyes a natural lubricant using eye drops.
  • If the cause is allergic, taking antihistamines can help overcome them.

To prevent watery eyes, make sure you don't touch your eyes with dirty hands. Be diligent about washing your hands, especially after doing outdoor activities. You also should not rub your eyes too hard and touch your eyes with a towel or tissue that is not guaranteed clean.

Immediately consult a doctor if watery eyes occur continuously or accompanied by a number of complaints, such as impaired vision, pain in the eyes, redness or feels like there is a foreign object in the eye. The doctor will conduct an examination to identify the cause and determine the appropriate treatment.



  1. Healthline (2017). What Causes Watering Eyes?
  2. Eye Health Web (2016). Watery Eyes - Causes and Treatment for Itchy. Watery Eyes.
  3. Everydayhealth (2017). What’s Behind Watery Eyes? 

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Health and clinical interests include all aspects of infectious diseases

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