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  • Epiphora?

    Hi guys, hope all of you are doing well.

    My left eye tends to water a lot, enough that it appears that I'm crying out of the one eye. It mostly happens when the wind is blowing but, can start for no reason at all and, once it starts watering, it'll last the rest of the day regardless of what I'm doing or where I'm at (EG: Indoors with no wind).

    I don't believe there's a blockage in my tear duct since immediately as my eye starts watering, my nose starts running, as well. I also don't have signs or symptoms of dry eyes. There is no pain, discomfort, itching, burning, etc.--just an overly emotional eye apparently lol.

    I don't have insurance so going to the doctor is a last resort and I would like to know if there's anything I can do to prevent and/or treat my watering eye before I think about going to the doctor.

    I do wear glasses and have gone to get my prescription renewed a couple years ago. The doctor didn't say anything was wrong with my eyes at the time.

    Thank you for any and all help.
    Last edited by Script; 23-Mar-2012, 23:51. Reason: Added info about my glasses.
    It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.
    ~Douglas Adams

  • #2
    Hi Script,

    It is possible you have dry eye. Symptoms can be lopsided; I have known several people whose ONLY symptom was excessive watering; and a lot of doctors would not notice dry eye unless clinically obvious. (One thing you'll learn on this board is people can have severe symptoms even if clinically they look fine.)

    The reason watering happens as a symptom of dry eye is that if the normal tear film (produced constantly by various glands) is not adequate, any outside stress like wind, excessive computer use etc will cause an irritation that sends a nerve signal to the brain to send reflex tears to "wash out" of the eye whatever is in it. Thus "dry eye" is kind of a misnomer - it's a catchall term for anything going wrong with the tear system. And in general dry eye symptoms do tend to get worse as the day progresses, so it wouldn't surprise me that once it starts it continues independent of environment.

    Not trying to diagnose you. Obviously you know we can't do that. But this is a dry eye board, and you asked, so I'm suggesting a possibility that comes to mind.

    I hope you can get to a doctor. I'm not insured either, so I understand those dilemmas. Till then, one harmless thing you could try would be to buy a preservative-free artificial tear (make sure it doesn't contain a vasoconstrictor) and use it preventively a few times a day. Another home treatment a lot of people use is warm compresses and lid hygiene - this can be helpful IF the problem is blocked meibomian glands.

    If your eye's watering, the excess is heading down the nasolacrimal duct which could account for the nose running. I wonder if the duct on that side might be unusually wide.
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Zone


    • #3
      Thank you for the response, Rebecca. It was really informative but, I still have a couple of questions.

      Whenever I would try to research my watering eye, it always lead me to dry eye information but, I'm confused since I have absolutely no other signs or symptoms that I keep reading about such as; one website says "Symptoms seem to worsen in dry or windy climates and with higher temperatures and lower humidity." Mine seems quite the opposite. The colder and more humid it is, the more my eye waters.

      It also doesn't seem to get "worse" throughout the day, just doesn't get better. If I go walking outside and it's windy, that is my main trigger and causes a stream of tears to flood down my cheek. After a few hours of getting out of the wind, my eye still continues to water about the same or slightly less than during the initial trigger.

      From another website:
      Signs and symptoms of dry eyes, which usually affect both eyes, may include:

      A stinging, burning or scratchy sensation in your eyes
      Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
      Increased eye irritation from smoke or wind
      Eye fatigue after short periods of reading
      Sensitivity to light
      Difficulty wearing contact lenses
      Periods of excessive tearing
      Blurred vision, often worsening at the end of the day or after focusing for a prolonged period
      I only have it affecting the one eye and the only symptom I have is the irritation from the wind. I absolutely understand that nobody is cookie-cutter and everyone has the same exact symptoms but, I would think years and years and years (pretty much as long as I can remember--20+ years) of having this problem with the one eye, some other symptoms would pop up now and again but, it's still just a watering eye.

      I apologize if I'm way off base, confused, and asking stupid questions lol. I just really don't understand and am pretty ignorant to all of this. I will definitely try out the eye drops (No vasoconstrictor! =). Thank you for those suggestions and for taking the time to respond to my questions, as misguided as they are, I'm sure lol.
      It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.
      ~Douglas Adams


      • #4
        They're all good questions, don't worry. The thing is all dry eye information on the web (including is going to make a lot of generalizations and you'll see lists of typical symptoms and common patterns identified. BUT, no matter how common those things are, in practice plenty of people only ever have one symptom or follow no common pattern. You might be one of those That's what forums are useful for in fact - all the exceptions to the 'average' congregate and swap stories.
        Rebecca Petris
        The Dry Eye Zone