Please verify your email address to receive email notifications.

Enter your email address

We have sent you a verification email. Please check your inbox and spam folder.

Unable to send verification, please refresh and try again later.

  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What causes watering eyes (epiphoria)?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • A/Prof George Kong

    Ophthalmologist (Eye Specialist)

    I am an experienced eye specialist with a passion for cataract surgery and glaucoma management. My approach to patient care is rooted in compassion and … View Profile

    Watering eyes occur if too many tears are produced or they can't drain away properly. One of the most common cause of too much tear production is if the eye is sore for whatever reason, and paradoxically when the surface of the eye is dry because the eye will produce tear as a reflex.

    Causes of watering eye:

    Dry eye - Paradoxically dry eyes are a common cause of watering eyes. Glands in the eyelids (Meibomian glands) normally secrete an oily substance that slows the evaporation of tears between blinks. When these glands don't function properly, known as Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), it can result in dry patches on your eyes. These become sore and extra tears are produced as a reflex. This is the most likely cause of watering eyes.

    the lower eyelid sagging away from the eye (ectropion) – this makes it difficult for tears to reach the drainage ducts

    eyelids that roll inwards (entropion)

    inflammation of the edges of the eyelids (blepharitis)

    blocked or narrowed tear ducts

    eye irritation (for example, from chemical fumes or grit)

    an eye infection, such as conjunctivitis

    an allergy

answer this question

You must be a Health Professional to answer this question. Log in or Sign up .

Empowering Australians to make better health choices