Ophthalmologist Questions Eyedrops

What is the reason for constant watering of the eyes?

My mother is 72 years old and her eyes are constantly watering. The opthalmologist recommended some eye drops but even after that the eye watering doesn’t stop. What

8 Answers

Eyes watering:
A patient may have watery eyes for several reasons:

-Excessive tearing due to inflammation or irritation

-Poor drainage of tears due to obstruction or poor lid apposition to the eye

I suggest you seek help from a subspecialist in oculo plastics.
Most probably, she has a blockage or stenosis in her tear ducts. It's easy to find out with irrigation of tear duct. If that was the case, she would need surgery named DCR (DacryoCystoRhinostomy).
Tearing eyes (epiphora) can be secondary to many etiologies. Firstly, it is usually easy to rule out lacrimal drainage issues; assuming this has been ruled out, the more frequently seen cause is reflex tearing from dry eyes. This can be evaporative, decrease aqueous production, and even conjunctival chalasis. This is not always easy to sort out. It is recommended to find an ophthalmologist who has an interest and/or specialty in this area.
Tearing can have many causes, from reflex tearing due to an irritant such as a lash, to dryness of the eye. If the tearing is constant, it could also be a blocked tear drainage issue. Typically, excess tears will drain into two small openings near the nose on the lids. If the drainage path is blocked, then tears will run down the face instead.

Thank you,
Frank J. Mares, M.D.
Intermittent watering of eyes is usually due to dryness. If your mother has constant watering, assuming the vision is stable and the eyes are not red, then a likely cause is obstruction of the tear outflow lacrimal drainage system (the exit plumbing of the eyes). This should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist who can examine the outflow and see where the obstruction is located and whether treatment can be helpful.
It’s a common problem as you age and has to do with a loss of normal healthy tear production. Treatment can reduce the watering, but it’s unlikely to go away completely.
Dry eye is indeed a possibility, because dry eye patients get reflex tearing. Another possibility is that her tear drainage system is not working sufficiently (referred to as a nasolacrimal obstruction). If that is the case, sometimes a 3 week course of 4 times a day Tobradex or Maxitrol can help many patients; if that does not help enough, a "Probe and Irrigation of the nasolacrimal duct system" may be warranted. A competent ophthalmologist (MD; not OD) or oculoplastics specialist is needed.
At 72, eyes are exposed to the environment for decades. Hormonal decline affects tear production. Treat with frequent artificial tears, lubricants continously up to 5 times per minute will see immediate improvement. Punctal plugs to retain tears help. Rehydrate regularly. Omegas 3 fish oils help over the long term