When tears flow from our eyes, it is often a sign of joy or sadness. Crying expresses our feelings and makes us feel relieved in many ways. But what if your eyes water without crying? There are many causes of watery eyes. Often the eye is previously irritated, for example, by dust and fine granules, inflammation, pollen or animal hair, dry air or through blocked ducts. Through the subsequent flow of tears our body tries to contain the damage to the eye. The enzymes in the tear fluid protect against infections and prevent bacteria from multiplying.
The tear fluid
Tears serve the eyes for protection. First and foremost, the tear film prevents the eyes from drying out and flushes foreign bodies out of the eye. In addition, the film serves as a lubricant for our eyelids and provides an ideal barrier to the atmosphere, making sharp vision possible in the first place. In addition to proteins, glucose and saline, the tear fluid contains enzymes to fight off bacteria.
The tear fluid is formed in the lacrimal gland. This gives the tear fluid to the eye surface. Within the inner corner of the eye are the openings of the tear tubules. You are responsible for removing the tear fluid.
Causes of watery eyes
Causes of watery eyes are often disorders in the function of the lids or lacrimal organs. In addition, too much tear production and clogged or altered tear ducts can cause tears in the eyes.
The following trigger can briefly bring tears to the eyes:
- Yawning causes the stretching of the eyelids to cause the lacrimal glands to empty all at once. The excess of tears causes temporary tearing eyes.
- With strong laughter, the nervous system activates our lacrimal glands. The excess of tears then causes watery eyes.
- If a foreign object is in the eye, it reacts with increased tear delivery to flush the foreign body out of the eye.
- Small injuries such as scratches on the cornea can be caused by granules, dust, pollen or hair. The eye reacts with increasing tear production. The proteins and enzymes in the tear fluid support healing.
External factors can also cause watery eyes:
- Even a cool breeze can cause watery eyes. The tear film evaporates and the eyes dry out. To counteract dryness, the eye produces excess fluid.
- A poorly fitted pair of glasses means that the eye has to focus more to recognize something. This can potentially lead to increased lacrimation.
- Dry eyes can be caused by bad air or contact lenses. If the period of dry eyes persists for some time, the eye will produce an excess of tear fluid and permanently shed tears.
- Computer work: When working on the computer for a long time, you hardly look into the distance. Therefore, the eye can not fulfill the requirements placed on the eye with the constant view of the near screen in the long term. Tear flow is then a possible reaction of the eye.
- If watery eyes last longer than one day, the cause is usually linked to a disease. In such cases, it is advisable to seek medical help. In an allergy such as hay fever, allergens in the nose lead to an inflammatory reaction that often extends to the eyes. These react with an increased flow of tears to heal themselves.
- In case of a cold, the mucous membranes swell up. This prevents the tear duct from removing the tear fluid, which usually causes excess tears to drain through the lower lid.
- Incorrect composition of tear fluid: The absence of proteins and enzymes can lead to infections, which promotes watery eyes.
- Age-related changes: The muscles and supporting connective tissue around the eyelids and lacrimal organs become increasingly flaccid, so that the outflow of tears can not be so well regulated. The tear fluid collects on the lower lid and runs out of the eye.
- Diabetes mellitus: An increased sugar level in the blood can temporarily alter the blood vessels in the retina, which can lead to a temporary drop in vision. This in turn causes watery eyes. Once the blood sugar level is in balance, the retina recovers and the tears of the eyes diminish.
Concomitants of watering eyes
Tears in the eyes, so often go along with other complaints. For example, if a foreign object is in the eye, it begins to burn and itch. In addition, a scratchy feeling may arise in the eye. In irritated and watery eyes, it is also not uncommon for the eyes to hurt, the eyelids are swollen and a pressure on the eyes spreads. These symptoms then trigger further side effects such as photosensitivity or visual disturbance.
What to do with watery eyes?
Especially when watery eyes are caused by dryness of the conjunctiva, sufferers can often take measures themselves to alleviate the complaint. It is advisable to ventilate frequently and to stay in the fresh air. Bad exhaust air such as smoke and drafts should be avoided. You should also be careful to rinse your eyes with clear water more often than usual. When working on the computer sufferers can relieve the symptoms by frequent glances into the distance.
Bleeding eyes on contact lens wearers can be triggered by incorrect handling of the lenses. Therefore, lens wearers should pay attention to thorough cleaning and often take breaks. If the symptoms do not subside, it is advisable to consult an ophthalmologist or optometrist.
Often the tears are wiped out of the eyes with handkerchiefs. It should be ensured that a fresh handkerchief is always used to prevent bacteria from entering the eyes. Those affected should also wash their hands regularly. As a result, for example, the risk of infection can be minimized in a conjunctivitis or additional contamination of the eye can be prevented.
When to go to the doctor?
If the watery eyes persist for several days and weeks, it is advisable to see a doctor. This can find out the real reason for the watery eyes and thus prevent worse such as visual damage and examine those affected for possible diseases. To rebalance tears, the doctor may prescribe eye drops.