Help and frequently asked questions

How can I treat watery eyes?


If you have recently noticed that your eyes are watery or filled with fluid, there could be a number of reasons for this. Watery eyes happen to many people from time to time and can be a result of several different conditions, from seasonal allergies, cold or flu and irritation to more severe complications that may involve a more prescriptive course of treatment.

Fortunately, it is usually easy to treat watery eyes - your optometrist can help you get to the bottom of the problem and can recommend a course of treatment to suit your specific ailment.Read on for some of the most common causes of watery eyes.

Excessive tear production

This is one of the most common causes of watery eyes. Tearing is one of the most important functions of your eye, as the moisture from tears is used to lubricate and protect the cornea. But from time to time, your tear ducts can become blocked, which causes your eyes to water as the tears well up in your eyes. Blocked tear ducts can happen spontaneously or they can be linked to another condition, such as conjunctivitis, involving inflammation or infection.

Alternatively, your tear film can be disrupted and you can also experience dry eyes - a condition that occurs when your body does not produce enough tears. If your symptoms persist for more than a couple of days, make sure to book an appointment with your optometrist. Watery eyes can also be caused by your body's inability to drain your natural tears effectively, or complications with your eyelids. Your optometrist will be able to advise the best course of action for your specific issue.

Mucous or fluid build-up in your eyes

Sometimes, your eye discharge is not just watery - it can also resemble mucous. If you notice discharge from your eyes that is white, yellow or greenish in colour, or you notice crusting or swelling around your eyes, it is likely that you have an infection. Your doctor or optometrist can assess the situation and ensure you have the right treatment - usually in the form of antibiotic drops available as a prescription or purchased over-the-counter. Once you begin your course of treatment, your symptoms are likely to subside within a few days, but it is important to continue using your medication for the recommended period so that your symptoms do not return.

Other causes of watery eyes

You may notice that your eyes are particularly watery when you experience an allergic reaction - perhaps to pollen or household pets, or to a particular type of cosmetic product - or when you are already feeling under the weather due to the common cold or flu.If you find that you frequently experience watery eyes alongside other symptoms, it may be time to speak to your doctor and arrange for further treatment and testing - especially if your watery eyes are related to allergies. Your doctor may recommend antihistamines or drops to help ease your allergy symptoms, and you may also need to make some lifestyle changes - such as avoiding certain types of pets - in order to relieve your symptoms. Likewise, if your watery eyes are caused by a cold or flu, you are likely to notice that these symptoms subside when you start to feel better.If your watery eyes persist, or you begin to notice mucous, discomfort or difficulty with your vision, ensure you consult with your optometrist.

Watery eyes can in some cases be indicative of a more serious optical or medical condition. The earlier you receive an appropriate diagnosis and treatment, the better your outcome will be.