The most common cause of watery eyes is chronic irritation of the eyes, typically from exposure to irritating substances in the air such as dust particles, or from eye allergies. The chronic irritation to the surface of the eyes caused by these conditions stimulates tear production as a defense mechanism, which leads to the watery eyes. Other symptoms that are associated with chronic irritation of the eyes would include eye redness and eye itching. Another, much rarer, cause of excessive tearing is obstruction or partial blockage of the tear duct that is supposed to drain the tears away from the corner of the eye into the nasal passages.When you go to see your primary care doctor, in addition to evaluating you for chronic eye irritation as the cause of your excessive tearing, they will also be able to assess if you might have any duct blockage.
Watering eyes, also known as epiphora or tearing, is a condition in which there is an overflow of tears onto the face, often without a clear explanation. There is insufficient tear film drainage from the eye(s) - instead of all the tears draining through the nasolacrimal system, they overflow onto the face. There are two main cause of epiphora, blocked tear ducts or excessive production of tears. Some people are born with underdeveloped tear ducts. It is not uncommon for newborns to have watery eyes. Generally, this problem goes away within a few weeks as the ducts develops. However, some irritated eyes may produce more tears than normal as the body tries to rinse the irritant away. If your watering eye is caused by infective conjunctivitis the doctor may prefer to wait for a week or so to see if the problem resolves itself without antibiotics. When allergic conjunctivitis is the cause, you may be prescribed an antihistamine, which is effective in bringing down the inflammation. If you get the blocked tear ducts, surgery which creates a new channel from the tear sac to the inside of the nose may be necessary.