watery eyes

5 Logical Explanations for those Watery Eyes

Do you ever find yourself blinking away tears unexpectedly? Or perhaps you experience excessively watery eyes in response to certain triggers? While tears are often associated with emotions, they also serve an important function in maintaining eye health. From environmental factors to underlying health conditions, several reasons could be causing your eyes to water. Read on to explore a few common culprits behind watery eyes and learn how regular eye exams can preserve your vision and overall well-being.

Environmental Factors

One of the most common reasons for watery eyes is exposure to environmental irritants. Dust, pollen, smoke, and pollutants can all trigger a protective response from your tear glands. When these irritants come into contact with your eyes, your body reacts by producing tears to flush them out and alleviate discomfort. Additionally, windy or dry conditions can lead to increased evaporation of tears, prompting your eyes to overcompensate by producing more tears.


Allergic reactions to substances like pollen, pet dander, or mold can cause itching, redness, and excessive tearing. When allergens enter your eyes, they can trigger an immune response, leading to inflammation and increased tear production as your body attempts to wash away the irritants.

Dry Eyes

This might seem counterintuitive, but dry eyes are actually one of the biggest reasons for watery eyes. When your tear quality is off-balance, your eyes may overcompensate by producing more tears that don’t properly lubricate the eye, leading to overflow. One of the biggest culprits here is prolonged computer work. With excessive near work that requires looking at a screen, people stop blinking, and the eyes dry out. In turn, this can cause the eyes to water as a reflex in order to attempt to lubricate the eyes.

Blocked Tear Ducts

Tears normally drain from your eyes through small openings called tear ducts, which empty into your nasal passages. If these ducts become blocked or narrowed due to infection, injury, or age-related changes, tears can accumulate on the surface of your eyes, leading to watery eyes. Symptoms of blocked tear ducts may also include discharge, blurred vision, and discomfort.

Eye Infections

Bacterial or viral infections can cause inflammation of the eyes, resulting in excessive tearing along with other symptoms such as redness, swelling, and sensitivity to light. Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, is a contagious condition that can cause watery discharge and irritation.

When Watery Eyes Might be More Serious

While some causes of watery eyes are temporary and easily addressed, others require professional attention. Contact us right away if you notice any of the following:

  • Watery eyes are accompanied by pain, redness, or reduced vision.
  • Your symptoms don’t improve with home remedies or over-the-counter treatments.
  • You experience frequent eye infections.
  • Your symptoms are causing difficulty performing daily activities.

The Importance of Regular Eye Exams

While occasional watery eyes may not always indicate a serious problem, persistent or recurrent symptoms should not be ignored. Regular eye exams are essential for maintaining optimal eye health and detecting any underlying issues before they progress. These eye exams aren’t just about checking your prescription. They allow us to detect potential problems early on, including those that might cause watery eyes. Early intervention can often prevent more serious complications down the road.

Moreover, if you’re experiencing persistent watery eyes or other concerning symptoms, an eye exam can help determine the underlying cause and provide targeted solutions. Whether it’s prescribing medicated eye drops, recommending lifestyle changes, or performing minor procedures to address blocked tear ducts, we can offer personalized care tailored to your needs. Contact us at 630-862-2020 to learn more or to schedule an appointment.


Family Vision Development Center is a full-service vision center offering innovative vision therapy services, sports vision therapy services, post-concussive vision rehabilitation, comprehensive vision exams for eyeglasses and contact lenses, management of ocular diseases including glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration and cataracts, and a state-of-the-art optical center offering the latest designs in eyewear.