Treatment depends on how severe the problem is and what's causing it. If the underlying cause is dry eye syndrome, try avoiding reading, watching TV and using a computer continuously for long hours – you're likely to blink less during these activities, which can make symptoms worse.
The use of lubricating eye drops can help ease the discomfort of dry eye. These can be bought over the counter from a pharmacy and your healthcare professional can advise which product is best for you.
It might help to hold a warm, damp, clean cloth over the affected eye for five minutes and at the same time, gently massage your eyelids with the cloth to loosen any material that might be blocking the eye glands.
If a bacterial infection such as conjunctivitis is causing watering eyes, your doctor may prescribe a course of antibiotic eye drops. If they suspect a virus is the cause, it may take a little longer to resolve, sometimes maybe even a month.
If your eyes are watering because of an allergy, antihistamine medication may be prescribed to help reduce the inflammation.
In cases where irritation is caused by an inward-growing eyelash or a foreign object, such as a piece of grit, these can be removed by your eye specialist. If your lower eyelid rolls inwards (entropion) or sags outwards (ectropion), a minor operation carried out under local anaesthetic may be recommended. The most common procedure involves tightening the tendon that holds the outer eyelid in place to give it extra support.
SURGERY FOR BLOCKED TEAR DUCTS
Tear ducts allow excess tears to drain away. If a blocked tear duct is causing watering eyes, it can be treated with surgery.
If you have an infection in your tear sac (where excess tears from your eyes drain into), it will need to be treated with antibiotics first, before surgery. Left untreated, the infection could spread to your eye socket.
Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) is a common surgical procedure used to treat blocked tear ducts. It involves creating a new channel from the tear sac to the inside of your nose. This channel allows tears to bypass the blocked part of your tear duct.
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