Dry eye or a lack of tears is a common condition and becomes more common as you age. For the most part, people complain of logical symptoms- a feeling of dryness, red eyes, sandiness, burning or itchy eyes. However, not many people are aware that dry eye can actually cause watery eyes.
You may be wearing the same look of surprise right now that crosses my patients' faces when I inform them of this; that the watering that occurs when in the wind, or watching the TV or computer too long or first thing in the morning as they wake up could be actually caused by dry eye.
How? Well, when the eye is dry, the highly sensitive nerves in the cornea (the front of the eye) start to fire. The cornea is 5 times more sensitive than your fingertips...paper cut beware! When these nerves fire, the message gets sent to your tear gland to produce more tears. It can tend to over-compensate, hence the excessive tears.
So next time someone you know complains to you of a watery eye, you too might surprise them with this bit of knowledge!
* Information on this blog is general in nature and should not be taken as professional medical advice or as a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional.