With each blink, our eyelids spread tears from the tear gland across our eye, to be pumped by the tear pump through a tiny tear drain into the nose. Tears are important for eye health; too few tears cause a dry eye whilst too many cause a watery eye.

Too many tears

Watery eye occurs if the tear drain becomes blocked, or if the tear pump that clears the tears stops working. In the early stages, the eye intermittently fills with tears, called fullness. As the problem worsens, tears pool around the eye and flow onto the face. This is called Epiphora. Aside from watering, patients may complain of sticky discharge, pain, a lump in the corner of the eye, tenderness, dryness, grittiness and blurred vision. Patients often carry a tissue to wipe the eye, and develop an eye rubbing habit, unaware that this causes more damage to the tear pump and makes the problem worse.