What does it mean when your eyes are watery?
Your eyes can start watering for any number of reasons – it could simply be a case that your cosmetics could be causing irritation or it could be related to a more complicated issue, such as blepharitis or infective conjunctivitis.
Regardless, watery eyes can be difficult to deal with – people may mistake the problem for an outburst of emotion, causing embarrassment, or it could start to hinder your vision, making it difficult to continue with your day to day routine. Below I shall be covering some of my favourite ways to tackle this problem, starting with…
Treat the underlying condition
In most cases, I would recommend speaking to your doctor just to make sure nothing is amiss. If it is related to an infection or wider condition, they will be able to guide you through your treatment options and prescribe relevant medications such as antibiotics. However, if your watery eyes are related to issues such as allergies or a viral infection like the flu, treating this problem is usually a good starting point.
Hayfever, for example, is particularly rampant at this time of year and can upset your eyes so if you know you are vulnerable to pollen, it’s best to look ahead. Check the pollen count regularly so you can plan in advance and arm yourself with hayfever remedies such as our Pollinosan Hayfever Tablets whenever you do go out and about.
On the other hand, during the winter months when colds and flus are more widespread, it may help to take steps to support your immune system. You can do this by making sure you eat the balance of vitamins and minerals to help maintain your immunity and get a proper night of sleep – for more tips and information, please check out our Immune System Expert, Dr Jen Tan’s, blog ‘10 tips to stay healthy and avoid colds & flu.’
Watch your cosmetics
Most of us enjoy wearing makeup on a regular basis but, unfortunately, we don’t always consider what goes into our eyeliner and mascara – something which can come back to haunt us in the form of watery eyes. This is because most of the makeup products sold on supermarket shelves contain a plethora of abrasive and irritating chemicals which can easily upset your eyes, especially if they accidentally make direct contact when you’re trying to apply your mascara.
If you’re interested in using more natural products that contain fewer harmful chemicals and parabens, you could try having a look at the makeup selection at Jan de Vries. They specialise in gentle cosmetics that utilise organic and vegan-friendly ingredients that shouldn’t irritate your skin or upset your eyes – their range is fantastic and includes award-winning brands such as Pacifica and Inika!
Something else to also be aware of is that all makeup has a natural expiration date. It’s important to be savvy when it comes to this issue and to make sure you’re washing all your makeup brushes regularly too as they can easily become a breeding ground for bacteria and other nasty pathogens. I’d suggest checking out my blog ‘Good makeup hygiene for eye health’ for more tips and advice.
Give your eyes a break
Watery eyes are often associated with eye strain and dry eyes, both of which can be made worse by spending a prolonged period of time staring at a screen. Computers though, are such a big part of most of our lives that they often dominate our work and leisure time so getting away from a screen, whether it’s your TV or your smartphone, can be tricky.
That’s why I’d recommend exercising your eyes whenever possible. This probably sounds a bit strange – after all, how can you exercise your eyes? – well believe it or not you can, which is where the ’20-20-20 rule’ comes into play. Every 20 minutes try focusing on an object that’s at least 20 feet away for around 20 seconds. This should allow your eyes to relax.
It may also help to consider the environment you are working in – is there any way you can adjust it to make things easier for your eyes? For more tips and information, try having a look at my blog ‘My top 10 tips to beat eye strain.’
Avoid itching your eyes
If your eyes are watery and itchy, it’s difficult to fight the temptation to rub them in order to bring some temporary relief. However, this can end up exacerbating the problem, prompting your eyes to become even itchier and to secrete more tears. There’s also the additional risk that any bacteria or pathogens on your fingers get transferred to your eyes which definitely won’t help the issue.
Instead, as I’ve mentioned earlier, try to investigate the underlying cause and treat this. It may also help if you’re regularly washing your hands just to avoid spreading any bacteria. If you want to learn more about itchy eyes and how to tackle them, I’d recommend look at our introduction to itchy eyes here.
Protect your eyes
When it comes to watery eyes, infections and allergies aren’t the only triggers worth considering. The weather itself can sometimes conspire to irritate your symptoms, especially when it’s cold and windy. This is because cold, dry air can reduce the moisture in your eyes, causing them to become dry and irritable which can then lead into watery eyes.
When it comes to protecting your eyes in these conditions there are a number of steps you can take. When the weather gets cold outside, you likely crank your heating up inside which can have a negative impact on your eyes. Rather than sacrifice heat for the comfort of your eyes, you could invest in a humidifier, which should help to increase the moisture in the air around you.
It may also help if you consider what you’re using to protect your eyes. Remember, even during winter and especially during summer, keeping your eyes protected from UV radiation is essential so definitely check out our blog about the importance of sunglasses!
Try some soothing eye drops
Eye drops are essential if you have watery eyes, which may sound a bit strange in principle – why would adding more moisture possible help things? – but it does work in practice. If your eyes are constantly tearing up then they are losing moisture, meaning you will probably suffer from dry eyes somewhere down the line.
Using eye drops helps to prevent and alleviate this problem and I always recommend opting for our A.Vogel Eye Drops, even if you’re suffering from a condition such as conjunctivitis. These eye drops do not contain any preservatives and instead make the most of natural ingredients, such as the herb Euphrasia, which is also known as Eyebright, as well as hyaluronic acid.
Feed your eyes
Your eyes, like most other parts of your body, rely on the right balance of nutrients to work efficiently. In the case of your eyes, the most important vitamins and minerals to watch out for are vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids. These each help to support your production of collagen, an important connective tissue, as well as protecting your eyes from free-radical damage and the effects of macular degeneration.
If you want more advice about the types of foods you should be eating, please ready my blog ‘The best foods for healthy eyes and eyesight.’ However, below I’ve also included a few of my favourite recipes to help support your eyes which should help to get you started!
Broccoli, Kale & Sweet Potato Soup
Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Bars
Kale & Cranberry Salad
Use a warm, damp compress
Sometimes something as simple as a warm, damp towel can make all the difference. This method can help to loosen anything that may be blocking your glands, providing some relief for your watery eyes. You could even try gently massaging your eyes , rubbing a finger just between the corner of your eye and side of your nose as this can also help to unclog any blockages!