Woman Thinking on Her Couch

The tear duct system allows tears to drain from the eyes into the nose, and usually opens spontaneously within a few months after birth. In some infants, however, the system remains blocked. This results in the eyes overflowing with tears and collecting mucus.

Tearing may be traced to other ocular conditions, the most serious of which is glaucoma. If your child suffers from continually watery eyes, please consult your pediatrician. Gentle massage of the tear duct can occasionally assist in relieving the blockage. If massage is unsuccessful, a tear duct probe or more involved surgery is occasionally required.

Chart Illustrating a Healthy Eye vs One Experiencing Dry Eye

Excessive tearing is also a common problem in adults. The culprit could be allergies, dry eye, or an eye infection. Treatment for allergy- or infection-induced watery eyes is as simple as a topical medication.  Tearing can also be caused by an obstruction of the tear drain system.  This blockage can occur at any point along the system; however, it most commonly occurs where the tear drain enters the nose.  It can occur in one or both eyes and may require surgical correction.