What is tearing?

Tearing is a normal function of the eye and tears are necessary to keep the eye moist and healthy. Excessive tearing, or teary eyes that are not from normal crying, can be a sign of an underlying health condition or disease.

What are the Causes of tearing?

  • Injury, birth defects, infection or other blockage of the tear drainage system
  • Eyelid or eyelash problems
  • Infection in the eye
  • Wind, smoke, fumes, or other environmental irritants
  • Glaucoma where pressure builds up inside the eye
  • Dry eyes

How do we treat tearing?

In order to reduce or stop excessive tearing, we need to treat the underlying disorders causing the tearing.  For example: if your tearing is due to dry eyes, regular use of over-the-counter tear drops may be sufficient to supplement your natural tear film and keep your symptoms under control.  An infection may require special antibiotic drops before the tearing will clear up.  Because there are many possible causes and therefore a variety of treatment possibilities, you should schedule an appointment to be evaluated if you have symptoms to rule out anything urgent.