Watery eyes are very annoying, and can be caused by anything from allergies to bacterial infections. Whatever the cause, there are things you can do to stop watery eyes. The way that is generally done is to remove eye irritants that are environmental in nature, such as dust, powder, pollution, and makeup, by washing the skin around the eyes and eyelashes, washing the eyes slowly with water, using eye drops, and using warm compresses.. If this doesn't work, see a doctor, who may be able to diagnose and treat your problem. There are also some things you can do to prevent watery eyes, such as wearing goggles, wearing sunglasses, and applying your own cosmetics.
Method 1 of 3: Relieve Irritated Eyes
Step 1. Gently rinse the eye that has a foreign body or debris in it with water
If something gets into the eye, usually the eye will water. Flush eyes with clean water to remove it. Position your eyes under a stream of warm running water. You can also do it while bathing, by letting the water hit your forehead while opening your eyes when the water falls on your face. In addition, there are special tools for washing the eyes, namely eyewash stations and eyecups.
- Do not try to remove a foreign object from your eye using your fingers or tweezers.
- Seek medical attention if you believe there is something in the eye, and attempts to remove it with water are unsuccessful.
Warning: Do not rub your eyes if you feel something in them. Rubbing the eyes where foreign particles enter can damage the eyes.
Step 2. Use eye drops or artificial tears if your eyes are dry
Dry eyes can produce more water than normal. The eye drops will moisten the eye, which in turn reduces the production of tears. To apply the eye drops, tilt your head and lower the lower eyelid with your finger. Position the eye drop bottle 3-5 cm from the eye. Do not let the tip of the bottle touch your eyes. Squeeze the bottle to dispense the drops into the open eye, and repeat 2 to 3 times.
- You can buy eye drops without a prescription at pharmacies.
- Follow the manufacturer's frequency of use instructions.
Step 3. Remove contact lenses if you wear them
Take off the contact lenses that you wear when your eyes water. Contact lenses can make your condition worse, and also have the potential to block the action of the eye drops. Talk to your eye doctor if you think contact lenses are causing watery eyes.
- Follow your doctor's instructions for keeping contact lenses clean. If you use disposable contact lenses, never wear them more than once. Throw it away as soon as it's released.
- Never sleep with contact lenses, unless your doctor says you can.
- Do not wear contact lenses when swimming or bathing.
Step 4. Make an eye compress
First, remove eye makeup, then wash your face and skin around the eyes. Wet a clean washcloth with warm or hot water, and wring out the excess water. Lie down or sit back, and place the washcloth over your closed eyes. Hold for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Repeat 3 to 4 times per day.
- A warm compress helps draw out the crust and loosen anything that might be blocking the tear ducts. Warm compresses also reduce eye redness and irritation.
Method 2 of 3: Seeking Help from a Doctor
Step 1. Talk to your doctor about antihistamines for watery eyes due to allergies
Antihistamines, or allergy pills, can reduce eye irritation caused by allergies. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure whether watery eyes are the result of an allergy and whether antihistamines can help.
The most common antihistamine is diphenhydramine in oral capsule form. Follow the instructions on how and how to do it
Step 2. Ask about antibiotics for bacterial eye infections
Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if you suspect you have a bacterial eye infection. Bacterial infections are best treated with antibiotics. However, if the watery eyes are caused by a virus, the doctor will not prescribe medication and ask you to wait a week to see if your condition improves or not.
The most common antibiotic prescribed for watery eyes is tobramycin. Tobramycin is an antibacterial eye drop specially made for eye infections. Use as directed by the doctor. Usually, you need to apply 1 drop of tobramycin to watery eyes twice a day for 7 days, once in the morning and once at night before going to bed
Tip: A common symptom of a watery eye infection due to bacteria is a thick discharge, while a mucus-like discharge usually indicates a viral eye infection.
Step 3. Consider the medications you take regularly
Some medications have side effects that cause watery eyes. Check the labels of over-the-counter medications and ask your doctor if you're not sure. If watery eyes are a side effect of a medication, ask if there's a possibility that the drug could be changed. Do not stop taking medication without consulting your doctor. Some of the common types of medications that can cause watery eyes are:
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Cholinergic agonists
- Some eye drops, such as echothiophate iodide and pilocarpine
Step 4. Discuss other possible causes
There are various medical conditions that can cause watery eyes. If you can't pinpoint the cause, ask your doctor for help. Some conditions that can cause watery eyes are:
- Allergic conjunctivitis
- Allergic rhinitis
- Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids)
- Clogged tear ducts
- Have a cold
- Ingrown eyelashes
- Red eye
- Hay fever
- Tear duct infection
Step 5. Talk to your doctor about procedures to treat blocked tear ducts
If your eyes often water because of blocked tear ducts, you may need an irrigation procedure, intubation, or surgery to clear the blockage. This option is only necessary if other methods have not worked or for cases of chronic watery eyes. Some of the options are:
- Punctal dilation. If the tear cannot be stopped by opening the tear duct, punctal dilation may be performed. The ophthalmologist will give a local anesthetic to the eye to be treated. A device will be used to widen the opening of the tear duct so that the tears can be stopped.
- Stenting or intubation. In this procedure, the doctor inserts a thin tube in one or both tear ducts. This tube will widen the opening of the tear duct so it dries faster. The tube is left in the eye for about 3 months. This procedure can be performed under local or general anesthesia.
- Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR). DCR is a surgical procedure that may be needed if other, less invasive methods don't work. The DCR creates a new channel for the tears to dry. The surgeon uses the tear sac inside the nose to create a new channel. DCR requires local or total anesthesia.
Method 3 of 3: Protecting Eyes
Step 1. Protect your eyes from foreign objects or debris with goggles
Make sure you wear goggles or other eye protection when working with chemicals, power tools, or around large amounts of airborne particles, such as sawdust. The material can enter the eye and make the eyes water. Wearing goggles also helps protect the eyes from small or large objects that might hit the eye and cause damage.
You can buy goggles at major hardware stores. Choose one that can protect the eyes from all sides
Step 2. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun
Sunglasses protect the eyes from harsh UV rays and can make them watery. Sunglasses also protect against particles and debris that are swept away by the wind and can potentially get into the eyes.
Before wearing sunglasses, make sure all the dust has been removed
Step 3. Turn on the air purifier at home to reduce environmental irritants
Air purifiers can filter out dust and potential irritants in the air. Try placing the air purifier in a central area of the house and turning it on during the day, or placing it in the bedroom and turning it on at night.
This tool will be especially helpful if you have indoor allergies, such as dust and pet dander
Step 4. Clean the eyes thoroughly to remove eye makeup, or avoid cosmetics in the eye area
If possible, avoid eyeliner and cosmetics that are used along the eye line. Applying cosmetics in this area can irritate the eyes. Also, not cleaning your eyes thoroughly after applying eye makeup can clog the tear ducts along your lash line.
Use a gentle cleanser to wash your face, and wipe your eyes with a washcloth to remove any remaining makeup
Warning: Do not use eye makeup products or personal items that have touched other people's eyes.
Be careful when disposing of tissues or washcloths that have been used to wipe your eyes. If you have a bacterial or viral infection, the infection can spread to other people who come into contact with the tissue or washcloth
- If watery eyes do not improve, see a doctor. You may have a viral or bacterial infection.
- Avoid activities that require sharpness of the eye, such as driving, until the eyes are no longer watery. Watery eyes can complicate activities that require visual acuity, and can even be dangerous.
- Do not use perfume, hair spray, and other scented aerosol products. These products can cause watery eyes.