You know the feeling. Your eye keeps watering. It just won't stop! You continue to wipe away the tears. You're not crying or emotional, but your eyes just won't stop pouring. For some, this can be not only debilitating but embarrassing as well. So, what could be going on?
Believe it or not, epiphora (the medical term for teary eyes) occurs because the eyes are dry. How can this be? Well, the tears of your eyes are made up of three layers, and these three layers must function properly for the eyes to feel and look great. If even one of the layers is not doing its job, the other layers end up running off of the front surface of the eyes...right onto your cheeks.
What Are The Causes of Excessive Eye Watering?
Let's dive in a little deeper into why your eyes might be watering. Your tears are composed of three layers; An oily (lipid) layer, a watery (aqueous) layer, and a mucin layer. The outer layer of the tear film is the oil one, which seals in the tears and prevents evaporation. The lubricating watery layer is in the middle, and the innermost layer is the mucin layer, which functions to keep the rest of the tears stuck to your eyeball.
When you have meibomian gland issues, irritated eyelids, or dryness, the layers of the tears are disrupted, which can lead to watering eyes. Also, if your eyelids are not positioned tightly against your eyeball, the tears that should stay on your eyes may begin flowing down your cheeks. Another reason for epiphora may be a drainage problem, meaning that the tiny hole where the tears drain may be closed off (this is known as nasolacrimal duct obstruction).
Runny Eyes - What You Can Do
Once the cause of the watering has been determined, the focus should be on maintaining eye health and function. If you happen to have NLDO or something similar that's causing your issue, the drainage system can be surgically opened. If eyelid positioning is causing your tears to stream, this can also be surgically corrected by a specializing ophthalmologist.
Now, if your watering is due to dryness, meibomian gland issues, or eyelid inflammation (which cause the majority of weepy eyes), there are a few things you can do. Before we dive into msot of them, you need to take a look at your diet and hydration. Increasing the amount of water you're drinking (you should be having half your weight in ounces of water per day!) can help hydrate the eyes. Remove all of the processed foods and trans fats from your diet, focusing instead on plant based eating (lots of fruits, veggies, and healthy fats!). Make sure you're taking an omega-3 supplement as well.
Aside from diet and hydration, there are a few other things you can try. First of all, awarm compress eye mask is important for the meibomian glands because it can temporarily loosen any compacted oils within your meibomian glands and release those oils onto the eyes.
After that, an eyelid hygiene regimen should be followed twice per day. A hypochlorous spray cleanser, like Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser, is perfect for this because hypochlorous acid is naturally made by the body and is gentle on the skin. Simply spray the solution onto a cotton ball or round and gently wipe the eyelids. There's no need to rinse it off, either.
The Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser contains just 3 ingedients: Hypochlorous acid, electrolyzed water, and sodium chloride.