Watery eye or epiphora is generally seen in young babies and older people. In this condition, tears accumulate in the eyes due to a blockage in one or both tear ducts. As a result, excessive tears trickle down the face instead of draining from the tear ducts.
The delicate balance between tear production and loss is maintained by the lacrimal system present in the eye. However, sometimes this balance is disrupted and the eye becomes prone to irritants that include:
The eyes secrete excess tears as a protective mechanism to steer away these irritants.
A normal eye is kept moist by a definite amount of tears. Extra tears, if any, pass on to the tear duct and nose. The tear duct may be blocked due to narrowing of its upper part over time. In such cases, the excess tears trickle down the cheeks.
Treatment of epiphora (watery eyes) includes the following:
Dacryocystorhinostomy (External and Transcanalicular Laser): Dacryocystorhinostomy is a procedure to treat watery and sticky eyes caused by narrowing or blockage of the tear drainage tubes. Depending on your condition, dacryocystorhinostomy may be performed externally (through the skin) or endoscopically using a transcanalicular laser.
Probing & Syringing +/- Intubation: Probing and syringing are performed to open up blocked tear ducts. It can be performed under local or general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. During this procedure a thin flexible probe (wire) is inserted down the tear duct to clear any blockage.
Lacrimal Stents: Lacrimal stenting can be performed as an outpatient procedure under moderate sedation. Lacrimal stents are thin tubes that are implanted in patients with narrowed but not completely blocked tear ducts. They help keep the tear duct open and help prevent further scarring.