WHY ARE MY EYES WATERING EVEN THOUGH THEY'RE DRY?

Dr. Jim Martin 10/23/2014

woman-irritated-eyes-dry-itchy.jpgWhen you think of dry eyes, you probably think of the sore, gritty feeling that’s most commonly associated with dry eyes. While a “dry” feeling is the most common symptom of dry eyes, some people who have dry eyes experience watering and itching as symptoms.

How Is My Eye Dry At The Same Time It’s Tearing Up?

So, why do eyes tear or water when they are dry? According to doctors and researchers, the eye is a complex collection of different parts. The entire eye is covered in a moist layer called a tear film. The tear film is composed of three substances. The layer closest to the eye is called the mucin layer. The mucin layer lines the eye and sits closest to the actual surface of the eye. The second layer is the aqueous layer. This layer is the “watery” layer and is what is most associated with tears. The layer helps to rid the eye of irritants and protect it from dirt. Finally, the lipid layer is an oily layer that prevents the watery layer from evaporating quickly from the eye.

When you have an overly dry eye, the eye produces more tears; these are called reflex tears, and is most commonly associated with the act of crying. The tear glands go into overdrive when an eye is overly dry and attempt to rid the eye of what is “irritating” it. In this case, the malfunction of the actual tear film is what is irritating the eye, and the body attempts to correct it by making more tears.

How Are Dry Eyes Corrected?

The production of more tears does not, however, correct the dryness that most people are feeling, and, in some cases, can actually make dry eyes worse. Watery eyes will not damage the eye, doctors and researchers assure patients, but watery eyes can be irritating, and can cause blurry vision for some patients. They can also irritate the skin directly below the eye.

There is no one set cause of dry watery eyes. Some individuals experience dry eyes as a natural part of aging. Others experience dry, watery eyes due to allergies, while others experience sore, gritty eyes due to a medication side effect. Finding the cause can help alleviate the symptoms.

If you experience dry, watery eyes on a regular basis, you should speak with an eye doctor. Dry eyes are, generally, not something that are eased on their own, and will require some form of intervention. If you experience this type of discomfort is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. The professionals at Broome Optical will be happy to help you find a solution to soothe your dry, watery eyes.

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