Epiphora and Acute Dacryocystitis
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Tears help to lubricate eyes and eliminate particles which accumulate, thus protecting our eyes and providing us with clear vision. Watery eyes occur due to impairment or disruption in the drainage system of tears. Watery eyes or Epiphora (increased tearing) occurs due to increased production or overflow of tears or any blockage in the flow of tears. A slight blurring and irritation in the eyes can result due to the excess film formed due to watery eyes. Even though the condition is not serious, it causes discomfort, so it is better to get yourself treated. Abnormal and increased tearing can be mild or can be prolonged.

Causes of watery eyes
The causes can be some kind of allergy, blockage of duct, conjunctivitis, presence of foreign particles and other irritants, infections etc. Many common to chronic causes are associated with watery eyes. More common causes include itching due to Acute Dacryocystitis, irritants, allergy, conjunctivitis, hay fever etc. Some problems related to the nasal cavity and sinuses also cause watery eyes. More chronic causes are associated with injury to the cranial nerve, some autoimmune conditions, a condition called Blepharitis, and some inborn anatomical abnormalities in the eyelids like clogged glands – located on the upper and lower eye lids. Persistent watery eyes can also be due to the lodging of a foreign body in the eye. Obstruction of the naso-lacrimal duct also prevents the normal drainage of tears. Increase in tear production is commonly seen in older people without a problem as such. A narrow tear duct in some infants can cause watery eyes, most of such cases rectify with age. A common cause like having a cold or chronic sinusitis also causes watery eyes. In the case of allergies, histamine is released by your body which causes mild Epiphora or Watery eyes.

Treatment options for Epiphora
Diagnosis is made after a detailed physical examination and carrying out some tests like dilatation and irrigation (syringing), Johne’s dye test, Schirmer’s test, dacryocystogram and lacrimal scintillogram, tear specimen test. In case of blockage, a probe may be required for testing and a minor surgery can sometimes fix eyelid problems. Once the cause is established, treatment can be initiated. Basing on the cause, different topical and systemic antibiotics (for infections in the eyes), anti-histamines (Topical), corticosteroids to reduce allergy and inflammation etc are given. Minor surgery is done in cases when there is a problem with eyelid position and to clear blockages. No treatment is required for very mild cases.

 Key words:  Watery eyes
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