Tearing problems may have various causes. In infants, it is often the result of a poorly draining lacrimal sac. However, tearing in infants may also be a sign of increased eye pressure. Although a much less common cause of tearing, such high eye pressures may result in glaucoma and permanent vision loss. If your child is experiencing tearing problems, you should have them seen by Dr. Thompson or your local eye care provider.
As we mature, we tend to produce fewer tears. We are more susceptible to eye dryness. You may notice your eyes tearing in the wind due to its drying effects. How can a dry eye cause tearing? Our baseline tearing system is unable to keep up with the tear requirements and our eyes become irritated. Our brain gets the signal that the eyes are irritated and then send a signal to the back up tearing system to turn on. Unfortunately, the back up tearing system is more like turning on a fire hose than a gentle sprinkler. The tearing overwhelms our tear ducts and the tears may stream down your face.
However, not all tearing is due to dry eyes or an obstructed tear duct. One may have excess tearing because of material (like a piece of metal) being stuck in the eye, or due to an ocular infection. Dr. Thompson can help determine the cause and work with you to develop a plan to help reduce your tearing problems. Dry eyes may be a chronic problem. However, there are a variety of treatment options that may prove beneficial to help reduce or eliminate your symptoms of eye irritation and help to protect your ocular surface.
If you are having trouble with tearing, you should call our clinic for an appointment or see your local eye care provider. To learn more about tearing problems you can review an article at the Mayo Institute website or Medline Plus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.