The eye needs a constant supply of fluid or tears to retain health and function. There is a precise balance between enough fluid, too little, or too much.

There are a number of reasons why eyes water excessively. The most common is as a reflex to dryness of the cornea or surface of the eye. This type of tearing can be alleviated simply with artificial tears to stop the reflex from occurring or with punctal plugs to decrease the rate of drainage of the tears.

Another common cause of eye watering is a blockage in the outflow of the tears from the eye. If tears cannot drain properly while more tears are being produced, the eye fills uncomfortably. Normally, tears flow from the eyelids into the back of the nose. When people cry, they often sniffle to keep the excess tears flowing into the nose from dripping out. An obstruction or blockage can occur anywhere along this"drainage system" and cause the tears to roll down the cheek.

At times, the existing system needs to be bypassed entirely in order for the tears to have a way out of the eyelids. This involves surgery to establish an open and unobstructed drainage pathway. Procedures to achieve this vary according to the specific problem area involved. The specific procedure is determined after an exam in the office where the tear drainage pathway is examined very closely.

These procedures are covered by insurance.