Excessive tearing, causes and symptoms

Excessive tearing, causes and symptoms

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There tearing it is a normal function of the eye. But the excessive tearingor watering for no reason may be a sign of imperfect health or an underlying disease that is manifesting.

How the eye works

Eye tears come from the lacrimal gland, which is located above the external eye. Tears are made up of water, oil and antibodies: the moisture that comes from the tears on the front of the eye, the cornea, is essential to prevent the eye from drying out and inflaming (keratitis), leading to corneal abrasion and corneal ulcer.

The tears drain from the eye through the tear ducts. If the tear ducts become clogged, the tears can flow back into the eye, leading to the watery eye (epiphora), often mistaken for a cry. The tear ducts can be blocked by infections and inflammation, which can also lead to excessive tear production: it is however true that theobstruction of the tear ducts it can also occur due to diseases such as sarcoidosis, lymphomas, trauma, and radiation treatments.

There outer membrane of the eye is called conjunctiva. Any irritation of the cornea or conjunctiva can lead to a watery eye: the main causes include conjunctivitis, the use of irritants or allergies. Eye infection may require antibiotics in the form of prescription eye drops.

Read also: Burning in the eyes

Symptoms of excessive tearing

Having clarified the above, let us recall how the symptoms that can be associated with watery eye and excessive tearing include:

  • eye pain,
  • eye inflammation or eye infection,
  • a runny nose,
  • vision impairment,
  • allergies,
  • sneezing,
  • swelling of the eyes,
  • redness of the eyes.

Causes of excessive tearing

The causes of excessive tearing, as we have briefly mentioned above, they can indeed be quite numerous.

Let's briefly see some of them


The adenovirus infections they are common and often have no symptoms. The adenovirus cause diseases such as bladder infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, bronchitis, conjunctivitis, colds, encephalitis, sore throat and meningitis. Signs and symptoms of an adenovirus infection depend on the type of virus that caused the infection. The treatment focuses on supportive care against the main ailments.


An allergy is a "wrong" reaction of our immune system in response to contact with certain foreign substances. When these allergens come into contact with the body, the immune system develop a allergic reaction in people who are predisposed to it. Parts of the body that are prone to react to allergies include the eyes, nose, lungs, skin, and stomach. Common allergic disorders include hay fever, asthma, allergic eyes, allergic eczema, hives, and allergic shock.


There blepharitis it is an inflammation of the eyelids. Rosacea, staph bacteria, allergies, sensitivity to makeup or contact lens solutions, lice, or other conditions can cause it. Symptoms and signs include: itchy eyelids, burning eyes, sensitivity to light, red and swollen eyelids, loss of eyelashes, and eyelash and brow dandruff. Proper eyelid hygiene and regular routine cleaning can help.


The common cold (viral upper respiratory infection) is a contagious disease that can be caused by various viruses. Symptoms include stuffy nose, headache, cough, sore throat, and possibly even fever and watery eyes. Antibiotics have no effect on the common cold, and there is no evidence that zinc and vitamin C are effective treatments.

Dry eyes

There dry eyes it is caused by an imbalance in the eye's tear flow system, but can also be caused by the drying of the tear film, favored by dry air created by air conditioning, heat or other environmental conditions. Treatment may involve medication or, rarely, surgery. Sometimes dry eyes resolve with a return to excessive tearing.

Eye allergy

L'eye allergy (or allergic eye disease) is typically associated with hay fever and atopic dermatitis. Medicines and cosmetics can cause eye allergies. Allergic ophthalmic conditions include allergic conjunctivitis, conjunctivitis with atopic dermatitis, vernal keratoconjunctivitis, and papillary conjunctivitis. Dry eye, tear duct obstruction and conjunctivitis due to infection are often confused with eye allergies. Ophthalmic allergies can be treated with topical antihistamines, decongestants, topical tree cell stabilizers, topical anti-inflammatory drugs, systemic drugs.


There conjunctivitis it is an inflammation of the conjunctiva. Whether conjunctivitis is contagious or not ... depends on what causes the irritation. With conjunctivitis, people can experience swollen eyelids, a pinkish color in the whites of the eyes, eye discharge, photophobia, increased tear production and itching.

Mold exposure

L'exposure to mold it can cause symptoms in people who are sensitive to it. Symptoms of mold allergy include sneezing, runny nose, wheezing, cough, red eyes and rash. Preventing mold growth by keeping indoor humidity low, between 30% and 50%, using bathroom fans when showering, quickly repairing plumbing leaks, and using an air conditioner during wet seasons can be a challenge. Help.

We hope that these brief tips on how to correctly intercept the causes of excessive tearing, and be able to understand if indeed excessive tears in the eyes are a sign of one of the conditions mentioned above, will be useful for you.

Our suggestion is, of course, to talk to your referring doctor if you feel that your symptoms have been going on for too long and there is no improvement. In this way you will allow the specialist to be able to reach a timely and timely diagnosis, guaranteeing a prompt return to a condition of well-being, instead avoiding underestimating scenarios that, if neglected, could bring you more serious consequences.

Video: Excessive Tearing Epiphora and Treatment (July 2022).


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