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Watery Eyes in the Winter

POSTED ON February 8, 2013

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I don’t know about most people, but my eyes water if it is below 40 degrees outside, or if there is a slight breeze. A lot of people asking me, “Why are you crying?” Good question, I’d like to know, too. Watering Eyes is called epiphora. Epiphora occurs when there is an overflow of tears onto the face. A lot of times there is not a clear explanation why. Most cases occur before age 12 and after age 60. What are the main causes? –        Blocked ...

I don’t know about most people, but my eyes water if it is below 40 degrees outside, or if there is a slight breeze. A lot of people asking me, “Why are you crying?” Good question, I’d like to know, too.

Watering Eyes is called epiphora. Epiphora occurs when there is an overflow of tears onto the face. A lot of times there is not a clear explanation why. Most cases occur before age 12 and after age 60. What are the main causes?

–        Blocked Tear Ducts – Generally tear ducts are fully developed after a few weeks old, but this could explain why newborns’ eyes water. Also, swelling can cause narrow or blocked tear ducts in adults and children. When tears build up in the tear sac, it increases to risk of infection.

–        Over Production of Tears – Irritated eyes naturally will produce more tears to try and wash way the irritant. What can irritate your eyes? Honestly, most things can: chemicals and fumes, such as onions; conjunctivitis, pink eye; eye injuries; ingrown eyelashes; etc.

–        Dry Eyes – When your eyes are dry, they struggle to produce the natural lubricating tears. Instead, your eyes water to overcompensate, despite the ineffectiveness.

How can we control watering eyes?

If your eyes are irritated, there isn’t much you can do other than flush the eye. If it is allergies then your optometrist may prescribe an antihistamine to reducing inflammation. If you have blocked tear ducts due to underdevelopment, you may require surgery. For me, it looks like my eyes are just dry from the cold and wind. Try blocking the wind if the same thing happens to you, or just stay inside! If you have any questions, ask Dr Tavel or one of his board certified optometrists. Dr Tavel is open nights and weekends for your convenience!

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