Why Are My Eyes So Watery?: Common Causes Explained

Tears keep your eyes lubricated and help them wash away any foreign objects that may end up in your eye. When you produce too little tears, or your tear ducts are blocked, your eyes produce excess tears. This can be caused by a number of conditions. While in most cases watery eyes can be treated with eye drops, it is best to speak with an eye care professional before you begin to use them. Below are the most common causes of watery eyes:

Dry Eyes

While you are experiencing dry eyes, your eyes may also be watery. Think of it as the eye losing the moisture that it should be using to lubricate itself. You can treat dry eyes with medicated eye drops, but you should discontinue use after a few days. If your dry eyes do not clear up in a few days, you should seek professional help because this may be an indication of a more serious eye condition.


Eye infections, such as viral conjunctivitis (pinkeye), can cause your eyes to water as well. This is usually the result of the excessive inflammation and irritation that your eyes are experiencing, in addition to the fact that your tear ducts may be blocked by mucus. Considering that all eye infections share similar symptoms, it is important to be properly diagnosed by your eye care professional before you start treatment. Viral conjunctivitis is not a serious disease, but it is extremely contagious.

Foreign Objects and Eye Injuries

Foreign objects can irritate your eyes, or you may have a small abrasion that will cause your eyes to water. Scratches to your eyes are medical emergencies, and you should seek urgent medical care as soon as possible.


It is common for people with allergies, particularly those with hay fever and other seasonal allergies, to experience watery eyes. For example, allergens like pollen and pet dander can cause itchy and watery eyes. Other allergens that may irritate your eyes are dust, mites, and mold. Most allergy medicines will relieve your watery eyes, but there are also allergy-specific eye drops on the market.

The Common Cold

It is common to experience watery eyes when you have a cold. Most cold medicines address this issue.


If you experience irritation, your eyes may become watery as well. Everyday irritants include dry air, bright lights, dust, chemical exposure, wind, and smoke. You may also experience watery eyes if you have suffered a flash burn, which is caused by looking at any ultraviolet light source directly. Flash burns are essentially sunburns on the surface of the eye. Flash burns are common amongst welders, but you can also get flash burns from staring at the sun reflecting off of water or snow.

While you now know some common reasons as to why your eyes are watery, it’s still important to visit an eye care professional to be properly diagnosed. Feel free to contact us with any questions and concerns. Schedule a consultation visit today.