Watering Eyes – Causes

Watering eyes is a common symptom of irritation. Find out what else might be causing them.
Watering eyes - causes

There are several reasons that can directly cause your eyes to become excessively irritated and watery. Some of them are related to external factors and others may suggest the need for specialist medical attention. Learn a little more about this in the following article. Read on!

What are the causes of watery eyes?

Watering eyes can have many causes and be a symptom of many diseases. There are a number of ophthalmic problems that are manifested just by watery eyes. Mechanical irritation and pollen allergies can also cause them. Below you will learn about the most common causes of eye irritation!

Remember that obstruction of the outflow of tears is a very serious condition that can lead to tear stagnation and contamination of the conjunctiva. In turn, recurrent lacrimal sac infections can worsen over time, leading to orbital tissue infection.

The human eye requires adequate and continuous hydration to stay healthy. Sometimes, however, the fluid that is produced by the tear glands may not be drained out quickly enough. This is because the tear duct that reaches the nose is blocked, causing fluid to spill over the eyelids.

Classification of the symptoms of watery eyes

We can classify the types of eye irritation according to the age of the affected population. In general, children and the elderly are most likely to experience excessive watery eyes.

Watering eyes in babies

Although tearing and irritation of the eyes is very common in young children and infants, it is important to exercise caution and avoid further complications. Often, the causes of watery eyes in newborns are related to a slight blockage of the tear duct or the development of mild conjunctivitis.

However, this irritation can also occur if your child has a cold, allergy, or eye scratch. Therefore, if tearing does not subside after a few days, consult your pediatrician. Certainly, it will dispel any doubts and indicate the necessary treatment.

Slightly less often, this disorder may also affect small children. In this case, changes in the cornea may occur if, in addition, excessive tears are accompanied by a reddish tinge of the eyes. Be sure to visit an ophthalmologist with your child.

Irritated tearing

Teary eyes in adults

In adults, the causes of eye watering can vary. However, the most common causes include the occlusion of the lacrimal canal.

In addition, there are other related conditions :

  • Eye fatigue caused by excessive and prolonged use of technological devices.
  • Extreme dryness of the eye that stimulates the formation of tears to even out.
  • Age-related difficulties such as dry eye leading to irritation.

The main causes of watery eyes

The constant tearing and discomfort caused by this disorder can be frustrating. Unfortunately, it is usually associated with reddening of the eyelid, irritation, swelling and burning also around the conjunctiva, eye and temples.

After all, it is important to identify the root cause of the problem in order to start specific, targeted treatment, ruling out further complications and even blindness.

Obstruction of the tear duct

As we explained at the beginning of this article, the tear glands are responsible for producing tears. Their task is to keep the eye clean and moisturized. When there is excess fluid, it is expelled through the tear duct that ends inside the nose.

When this path becomes clogged, the tears cannot be evacuated and flow out towards the eyelids. This is what happens when our eyes seem to water for no reason.

Specialists describe this pathology as chronic tubulitis. It may be an acquired condition and refers to the narrowing of the tear ducts as a result of an aging body. There is also a congenital variety that often affects young children.

Dry eye syndrome

Dry eye syndrome stems from hormonal changes in women, and can also be largely the result of exposure to air pollutants. Some of the symptoms are burning, itching, photophobia, a dirty eye feeling, and heaviness of the eyelids.

The glands are overstimulated by polluted air and dust and react to these irritants with protective mechanisms by producing excess fluid.

Eye fatigue

Also known as chronic eye strain syndrome. This disorder belongs to the category of occupational diseases. It has several symptoms, among which we can find the lacrimation of the eyes.

It is also related to the excessive use of electronic devices, which is very common in the times of office, IT and teleworking. This condition is cataloged under digital eye damage syndromes and can affect the surface of the eye.

Excessive concentration of eyesight can cause dryness and profuse tearing.


This is one of the most common eye diseases. It affects people at all stages of their lives, and although it causes a lot of discomfort, it is very easy to treat.


Among the most common symptoms of this pathology that affects the conjunctiva (the imperceptible membrane covering the eye) are eye tearing, inflammation, redness, and the discharge or accumulation of fluid and pus in the lacrimal sac.


Photophobia is a condition caused by the inability to withstand the intensity of light, both artificial and natural. This is a pathology that affects people with albinism and very bright eyes very much.

Symptoms include watery eyes, the need to keep eyes closed in the presence of strong sun, burning and redness. It can even lead to dizziness, headache, nausea, and vomiting.

Other common and mild causes

In addition to the aforementioned ailments, watery eyes are also associated with allergies such as rhinitis, but also with the flu.

Tears from laughing, yawning, crying and even vomiting are not a problem as it is a reaction caused by an external reaction and emotions.

Irritated eyes

Tearing ok – when do you need to see a doctor?


As soon as you notice that you have conjunctivitis, be sure to visit an ophthalmologist. This is necessary as irritation may be the result of viral or bacterial inflammation. It can be harmful to the eyes and contagious.

In addition, when there is no clear cause of inflammation, and the discomfort persists for more than a week, be sure to consult a specialist.

In any of the above cases, it is important to monitor the condition of your eyes. Be sure to see your doctor as soon as you feel a problem to start appropriate treatment. Excess tearing not only is an obstacle to our quality of life, it also affects our eyesight.

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