Tears are produced by your lacrimal glands near the outer part of your upper eyelid and by glands on the surface of the eye and inner eyelids. Normally, the tears flow from your glands onto the surface of your eye. Blinking spreads them across the eye where they then drain through tiny holes called puncta located on the inner corner of your upper and lower eyelids.
There are several causes that can interfere with this process and cause tearing. If you are experiencing tearing the first step is to have a comprehensive evaluation so the correct cause and treatment plan can be determined. Here are common reasons for tearing:
Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome is a common cause for symptoms like tearing, grittiness, burning/stinging, itching, and redness. There are a number of things that can cause dry eyes, but all causes fit into one of two mechanisms – either the eyes are not producing enough tears or the tears being produced are of poor quality.
Eyelid malposition, meaning the eyelids turn outward or inward, can also cause tearing. In addition to tearing, patients also experience burning, irritation, and blurred vision.
Tear Duct Obstructions
Tear duct obstructions are another cause of tearing. The nasolacrimal duct, also known as a tear duct, is responsible for draining the tears into the nose. If this becomes blocked, your tears can’t drain normally. In addition to excessive tearing, patients may also complain of redness near the inside corner of their eye and inflammation. Recurrent eye infections can occur if these are left untreated.
Treatment for tear duct obstructions is a surgical procedure called dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) which will create a new drainage path for your tears, allowing them to drain normally, resolving your symptoms. DCR is usually an outpatient procedure allowing patients to go home directly following their procedure.
What Happens Next
If you are suffering from tearing, schedule your evaluation today using our online form or by calling one of our offices in Hagerstown, Chambersburg, or Waynesboro. During this visit, we will create an customized treatment plan tailored to your needs.