Tears supply oxygen and nutrition to the
cornea and help provide a smooth eye surface. A
tearing eye may be a nuisance but usually is not a serious problem. Many people
produce extra tears on cold or windy days. This is normal.
Keep the eye moist all the time (baseline
Wash out the eye when it gets irritated (reflex
Are related to strong emotions (cry reflex tears).
Excessive tearing in one or both eyes includes tearing that
More than usual for you.
More in one
eye than in the other.
Like crying, but you have not been
Excessive tears may mean a problem with eye irritation or
drainage of the tears. If irritation is causing the extra tears, the cause of
the irritation needs to be identified and treated. Drainage problems can be
caused by problems with the position of the lower eyelid or by a block in the
drainage (tear duct) system.
Allergies may cause the eyes to produce an excessive amount of
Some people with dry eye syndrome (keratoconjunctivitis sicca) complain of tearing too much. Actually, the eye becomes irritated
because it does not make enough tears. This irritation causes more tears to be
Primary Medical Reviewer
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.