Eye tearing is a common problem today, and the reason for it may be surprising. The most common reason for eye tearing is a condition called dry eye, however, it can be caused either by overproduction of tears or insufficient tear drainage. When eyes have poor quality tears (the main symptom of dry eye,) they may create excess tears in a reflex action. This reflex is trying to lubricate the eyes properly, but instead of doing that it creates a type of flood. Other reasons for tearing may include the use of a badly fitting contact lens or exposure to an allergen.
The treatment for tearing depends upon the cause of the problem. In some cases, it may involve avoiding certain irritants, increasing oil flow in the eyelid glands, or repairing the tear drainage system. When dry eye is the cause of the tearing, treatment is needed. Topical eye drops or eye ointments are a common treatment for dry eye. The treatment must be applied on a daily basis and will generally take at least a month to alleviate the dry eye. For most people with dry eye and resultant tearing, the treatment will need to be continued, although the frequency of the application could be reduced once the problem is under control. Both antibiotics and steroids are often used in the treatment of dry eye with resultant tearing. These are usually administered via drops directly in the eye, however, oral antibiotics may also be used in some cases. Replacement tears may be used to help with dry eye as well. While adding more fluid to the eyes may seem counterproductive, it actually helps the proper balance of tears to be restored and may, therefore, cut down on or even eliminate the tearing.
It is important for people with tearing to keep close track of their tearing so that a cause can be determined. Avoid very dry environments where possible, don't wear contact lenses for protracted periods, and get plenty of rest to encourage the eyes to produce quality tears. This all helps avoid tearing.
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