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. Normally, we make tears that moisturize our eyes. Excess moisture finds its way to pores in the inner corner of our eyelids and then into tiny drains that empty into the nose. When these drains are blocked, tears run down our cheeks, sometimes all day long.
Dr. Howard has specialized training to find the blockage and open the drains, reducing or eliminating this nuisance tearing. He has perfected a surgical technique (Dacryocystorhinostomy) that bypasses the blocked drains. Patients quickly regain their normal appearance, because this delicate technique accesses the blockage through the nostril only, leaving no visible signs of skin bruising or swelling by one day after the surgery.
Procedures to alleviate watery eyes vary according to the 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 medical insurance.