Tearing (Watery eyes)

Hi, I’m Dr. Matheson Harris with Utah Oculoplastic Consultants in Salt Lake City, Utah. Our tears are extremely important to the health of our eyes. Without enough tears, our eyes are uncomfortable and our vision suffers. Sometimes, though, we have too many tears and our eyes are wet and blurry. The most common reason for teary eyes is actually dry eye. When eyes are dry, a reflex causes the tear gland to pump out lots of watery tears to wet the eye. See our page on dry eye for more information on that topic. Sometimes the problem resides in the drainage system of the eye. Each time we blink, our tears are spread across our eyes and then pushed toward the inside corner, where they drain into a series of tubes. These tubes carry the tears to our nose, where they go to the back of our throats and are swallowed. When the tears can’t get through this system, they pool on the eyelids and run down your face. As an Oculoplastic surgeon, I specialize in treating these types of problems. In the office we can perform an examination to localize the blockage and recommend a treatment. Sometimes the only treatment needed is to flush water through the system. Other times we place stents, or do bypass surgery to make a new drainage pathway. The most common surgery we perform is called a dacryocystorhinostomy or DCR. In this surgery, we create an alternate pathway for the tears to get into the nose, bypassing a blockage in the tear drainage duct. At the end of the surgery we place a small tube to protect the pathway, which we leave in place for a few months. If you have any questions about tearing problems, email me directly or call our office and set up a visit. Thanks for visiting Utah Oculoplastic Consultants. We look forward to helping you feel and look your best.


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