Epiphora is a medical term commonly used to refer to watery eyes. It is characterized by the excessive production of tears and may occur for various reasons. An eye examination performed by a qualified eye doctor can help to diagnose the condition, as is recommended by the experts at See and Be Seen. While tears help the eyes to stay healthy and lubricated or avoid the discomfort caused by dry eyes, excessive production of tears can negatively impact your quality of life and overall well-being. When you have epiphora, tears may flow uncontrollably onto your face, causing much discomfort and inconvenience. You can visit an eye doctor in Kirksville mo for more information.
Possible Causes of Epiphora
The reason for the excessive secretion of tears may be because of various reasons. Below are some of the possible reasons.
Eye Injury and Foreign Objects
When something enters your eyes and you start blinking rapidly due to irritation, the eyes become watery to flush the foreign object out. Dirt, dust, or debris may cause a scratch or abrasion, leading to an eye injury and epiphora.
Allergic rhinitis (or hay fever) may cause the condition. It commonly happens when your body overreacts to pollen, dust, and other harmless foreign materials. The body’s immune system reacts by producing antibodies to help fight these antigens, leading to an inflammatory response and ultimately red and swollen watery eyes.
Test Duct Obstruction
The tear ducts at the corner of the eyes drain away tears produced by the eyes to avoid the buildup of water, but they can become narrowed or blocked completely, resulting in severe epiphora. Swelling, infection, and inflammation are the major reasons for the blockage of the ducts.
Inflammation and Infection
The eyes and eyelids may also be affected by inflammation and infection, leading to epiphora. Some of the conditions caused by a viral or bacterial infection and may lead to epiphora include conjunctivitis (pink eye). Inflammation of the cornea (keratitis) or tear glands may also result in watery eyes. Similarly, when an ingrown eyelash becomes infected, the eyes may become swollen and watery. Eyelid’s oil glands may also have a bacterial infection, leading to a painful red bump. Another common bacterial infection that may lead to watery eyes includes trachoma, which is a global leader in blindness.
When to See a Doctor
Watery eyes can affect babies, adolescents, young adults, and even the elderly. Epiphora can be a sign of another serious infection. It is advisable to see your eye doctor immediately if you have watery eyes alongside the following symptoms: pain, a gritty sensation, and changes in vision. It is also advisable to avoid touching your face and using the same hands to touch the eyes.
Treatment options may depend on the severity of the condition. Conjunctivitis may be left to clear by itself whereas an ingrown eyelash or a foreign object may be removed by the doctor. When the eyelid has turned outward (ectropion), the doctor may have to perform a surgical procedure to reverse the process. Similarly, blocked tear ducts may require surgery (dacryocystorhinostomy) for a new channel to be created.
Epiphora or watery eyes can be caused by several reasons. However, it is advisable to see the eye doctor if the watery eye problem accompanied by pain, a gritty sensation, and changes in vision.