Why do my dry eyes water?

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Harsh weather conditions like cold temperatures and wind, mixed with hot air blasting from your heater, can be a recipe for dry eyes in the winter months. Symptoms of dry eyes can include burning and itchy eyes, blurred vision, and as odd as it may sound, watery eyes.

If I have dry eyes, but they constantly water. How could they be dry?

Dr. Mei Fleming, a VSP network eye doctor, explains that it’s a sequence of events that becomes a vicious cycle.

“When your eyes are dry, it sends out a signal to your lacrimal gland, which produces tears,” said Dr. Fleming. “All of a sudden, you get an overproduction of tears.”

That extra production of tears is called reflex tearing. According to Dr. Fleming, reflex tearing is your body counteracting dryness by flooding your eyes with teas that run down your cheeks.

Dry eyes can be caused by a number of things including:

  • Allergies
  • Medication
  • Underlying disease

“It’s important to keep in mind, having watery eyes doesn’t necessarily mean you have dry eyes,” warns Dr. Fleming.

It’s always best to consult your VSP network eye doctor first to find out what the cause of your watery eyes might be.

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