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Tearing - increased
Alternative namesEpiphora; Increased tearing
DefinitionIncreased tearing is the excessive production of tears in one or both eyes.
Tears are necessary for the normal lubrication of the eye and to wash away particles and foreign bodies. Excessive tear production or improper drainage of the tear duct results in watery eyes . Irritation, infection, and inward-growing eyelashes can also cause watery eyes. An infection or blockage of the tear duct can also cause excessive watering of the eyes when tears do not drain normally through the nose.
Oddly enough, one of the most common causes of tear is dry eyes. Drying causes the eyes to become uncomfortable which stimulates the body to produce too many tears. One of the main evaluations for tearing, is to check if the eyes are too dry!
Consider the cause of the tearing. If the eyes feel dry and burn and then begin to tear, consider artificial tears before tearing occurs. This prevents the reflex tearing.
If the eyes are itchy and uncomfortable consider allergy as a cause. Occasionally topical and over the counter antihistamines can be useful. If the eyes have a mucous discharge or are red, consider a blocked tear duct or eyelid problem.
Call your health care provider if
Tearing is not an emergency, but can be very annoying and usually can be treated.
The medical history will be obtained and a physical examination performed.
Medical history questions documenting increased tearing may include:
Diagnostic tests that may be performed are:
Once the symptoms are explained, the cause is usually clear. Treatment can include artificial tears, topical antihistamines antibiotics or even surgery.
Update Date: 11/3/2003Raymond S. Douglas M.D., Ph.D. Department of Ophthalmology, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT