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What causes watery eyes in older adults?

Laura C. Fine, MD
Ophthalmology
Although some people suffer from dry eyes as they grow older, others suffer from the opposite problem -- watery eyes. It may seem counterintuitive, but often this problem develops because of dry eye syndrome: because dry eyes are uncomfortable, the eyes reflexively produce more tears. At other times, watery eyes are the result of tear drainage problems. Normally tears drain from the surface of your eyes, flow under the eyelids, and pass down into the nasal passages. But if this drainage system becomes obstructed for some reason, tears build up in the eyes until they spill over the lids. At other times, watery eyes develop as a complication of an eyelid problem or because of an infection.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.