We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Watery Eyes?

Daniel Liden
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Watery or teary eyes occur when the body produces tears too quickly. There is usually an equilibrium between tear production and tear loss, but outside influences such as bright sun and high winds can cause tears to evaporate, disrupting the balance and causing watery eyes. Various eye disturbances, internal or external, also can upset this equilibrium and lead to excessively watery eyes. For instance, various airborne allergens can lead to high levels of tear production, as can foreign objects or eyelashes in the eye. Additionally, highly emotional situations can lead to crying, another condition in which the eyes produce tears at a higher rate than necessary.

Allergies, particularly to various airborne allergens, such as mold, dust, dander, or pollen, are among the most prominent causes of watery eyes. Tiny particles of these allergens get into the eyes, causing them to water and, in many cases, to become red and itchy or otherwise irritated. Sometimes, the wind may blow larger particles, such as a plant fragment or eyelash, into one's eye; this also causes watery eyes, which often last until the object can be removed. It also is possible for such objects to cause tiny cuts or abrasions on the eyes, often leading to long-term watering and discomfort.

In some cases, watery eyes can be caused by environmental factors unrelated to allergens or particles. Wind, cold, or intense sunlight can also cause watery eyes. Wind and sun, in particular, can increase the rate at which tears evaporate. The eyes then water at an increased rate to maintain eye moisture.

Another common cause of watery, teary eyes is a condition known as dry eye. The eyes of individuals with this condition do not produce basal tears — the normal tears that are constantly produced for lubrication purposes — at a fast enough rate. The dry eyes, then, are not as well lubricated and can become more easily irritated than well-lubricated eyes. Irritation triggers the production of "reflex tears" such as those produced in response to dust, allergens, or weather conditions. Individuals with dry eye, then, may experience long, uncomfortable periods of dryness in the eyes followed by irritation and excessive watering.

Eyes generally water in order to expel some irritant, so treatment of watery eyes is seldom aimed at actually stopping the watering. It is, instead, aimed at preventing irritation in the first place. Various allergy medications can decrease irritation from allergens and therefore reduce watery eyes. Eye drops can keep dry eyes lubricated, thereby making irritation less likely and preventing excessive tearing.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Daniel Liden
By Daniel Liden
Daniel Liden, a talented writer with a passion for cutting-edge topics and data analysis, brings a unique perspective to his work. With a diverse academic background, he crafts compelling content on complex subjects, showcasing his ability to effectively communicate intricate ideas. He is skilled at understanding and connecting with target audiences, making him a valuable contributor.
Discussion Comments
By burcinc — On Aug 03, 2013

Does anyone get watery eyes due to anxiety?

I have social anxiety and I've noticed that when I'm in front of people and uncomfortable, my eyes get watery.

I asked my doctor about it and he said that he has other patients who have the same symptom, so it looks like it's related to the anxiety. It's very weird though, I don't understand why it happens.

By stoneMason — On Aug 02, 2013

@feruze-- Yea, I get watery eyes from allergies too. It's a very annoying symptom but allergy medications thankfully help stop it.

I think I have sensitive eyes because my eyes actually water all the time. I get watery eyes from pollen, dust, and even cold.

When I go out into cold air, I immediately get a runny nose and watery eyes. I always have to carry tissues with me in winter.

By bear78 — On Aug 01, 2013

Does anyone get watery eyes from seasonal allergies? When I have allergies, I don't get puffy or red eyes, I just get itchy, watery eyes. But it's very severe, it's as if I'm crying and it doesn't stop!

Daniel Liden
Daniel Liden
Daniel Liden, a talented writer with a passion for cutting-edge topics and data analysis, brings a unique perspective to...
Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.