The lacrimal glands in the upper eyelids constantly produce a thin film of tears that keeps the eyes moisturized and healthy. Normally, these tears flow across the surface of the eye and drain through a series of channels in the inner corners of the eyelids, which empty into the nose and throat.
In a healthy eye, there is a delicate equilibrium between the amount of tears produced and the amount of tears that drain. If for some reason the lacrimal glands produce too many tears, or the drainage system become blocked or clogged, it can lead to excessive tearing.
What Causes Excessive Tearing?
Excessive tearing can be caused by an overproduction of tears, decreased drainage of tears, or some combination of the two. Factors such as allergies, ocular surface irritation, infection, and eyelid inflammation can trigger the lacrimal glands to produce extra tears. Age, injury, or infection can cause a blockage or obstruction in the drainage channels that control the outflow of tears. When this happens, the tears have nowhere to drain and build up on the surface of the eyes.
Treatment for Excessive Tearing
If you are experiencing excessive tearing, our doctors will perform a comprehensive eye exam and complete some testing to determine the source and severity of the problem. For example, we may perform a non-invasive test in which a salt solution is irrigated through your tear drain.
Based on the results of your exam and testing, we can confirm the source of the problem and explore treatment options.
Sometimes the problem can be solved with a course of steroid eye drops, which improve tear drainage. In other cases, we must perform an in-office procedure to create a small opening in the tear drain. In the most severe cases, a surgical procedure must be performed to create a new channel that allows tears to drain properly.
To learn more about the causes of and treatments for excessive tearing, please request a consultation with the Eyesthetica doctors. Call or email us today to book an appointment.