Based on the cause, watery eyes may clear up on their own. Self-care measures at home can help treat watery eyes, mainly if caused by inflammation or dry eyes.
Watery eyes can be due to various factors and conditions.
In infants, continue watery eyes, often with some matter, are commonly the result of obstructed tear ducts. The tear ducts don’t produce tears, but instead carry away tears, similar to how a storm drain takes away rainwater. Tears normally drain into your nose via small openings (puncta) in the inner part of the lids near the nose. In newborns, the tear duct may not be fully open and functioning for the first several months of life.
In older adults, persistent watery eyes may occur as the aging skin of the eyelids sags away from the eyeball, allowing tears to accumulate and flow out.
Sometimes, excess tear production may cause watery eyes as well.
Allergies or viral infections (conjunctivitis), as well as any inflammation, may cause watery eyes for a few days or so.
Eyedrops, especially echothiophate iodide and pilocarpine
Blocked tear duct
Blepharitis (eyelid inflammation)
Corneal abrasion (scratch): First aid
Ectropion (outwardly turned eyelid)
Entropion (inwardly turned eyelid)
Hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
Dry eyes (decreased production of tears)
Foreign object in the eye: First aid
Ingrown eyelash (trichiasis)
Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
Keratitis (inflammation of the cornea)
Sty (a red, uncomfortable lump near the edge of your eyelid)
Tear duct infection
Hit to the eye or other eye injury
Chemical fluids in the eye
Facial nerve palsy
Rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory joint disease)
Sarcoidosis (collections of swelling cells in the body)
Surgery of the eye or nose
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener’s)
Tumors affecting the tear drainage system
When to see a doctor
Seek prompt medical attention if you have watery eyes with:
Pain throughout your eyes
A foreign body feeling
Watery eyes may get better on their own. If the issue results from dry eyes or eye inflammation, you may find it accommodating to use artificial tears or place warm compresses over your eyes for several minutes. If watery eyes continue, make an appointment with your doctor. If necessary, he or she may introduce you to an eye doctor (ophthalmologist).