Watery eyes (epiphora)

Watery eyes treatment

There are many treatments for watery eyes. Which treatment is best for you depends on the cause. Treatment isn’t always necessary, as watery eyes often stop watering on their own.

If your eye is watering because you’ve got something in it, blinking repeatedly can help get it out. You can also rinse your eyes with cooled, boiled water or with a sterile eyewash. If you’ve got a chemical in your eye due to a cleaning product or something similar, we’d recommend rinsing with plenty of cooled, boiled water and also seeking medical attention.

Watery eyes can be caused by your eyes producing more tears to try to compensate for dry eyes. In this case, eye drops for watery eyes are an ideal treatment. Lubricating eye drops or artificial tears can prevent your eyes from drying out, stopping them from watering too much.


If you have itchy or red watery eyes caused by an allergy, such as hay fever, there are a variety of options available: tablets, nasal sprays, and eye drops.⁵ You can also reduce hay fever symptoms by staying indoors when the pollen count is high.⁵ If the over-the-counter medications don’t relieve your symptoms, your doctor may be able to prescribe you something stronger, like a steroid treatment.⁵

If you have blocked tear ducts, they can be unblocked with a minor procedure.¹ Also, if your eyes are watering because of an eyelid problem like ectropion or entropion, you may be able to have this corrected with surgery.⁶

We would recommend coming to see your optometrist or doctor if1:

  • your watery eyes affect your everyday activities
  • you have painful watery eyes or sore watery eyes
  • your lower eyelid is drooping away from your eye or your eyelid is turning inwards
  • you have any swellings or lumps on your eyelids
  • you have a change in your vision or loss of vision.

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