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An eye condition that results in watery eyes.

By Published On: 26 October 20201.4 min read

What is Epiphora?

Epiphora is an eye condition that results in watery eyes, often to the degree that tears stream from the corners of your eyes. This may only occur in cold, windy condition, which tends not to be such a problem, or it may be constant, even when you are indoors. Epiphora, or watery eyes, can be inconvenient and uncomfortable, yet it is very treatable.


Underlying causes of epiphora include a blockage in the tear drainage ducts of your eyes or age-related loss of tone to the eyelids (causing the drainage duct to lose contact with the eyeball).  The age related loss of contact to the eye ball happens to the bottom eye lid and is called ectropion. Ocular surface irritation from allergy, infection, dry eye or a foreign body also can cause the eyes to water excessively.

Epiphora Treatment

Your optometrist is the best person to assess your epiphora and decide if referral to an ophthalmologist is appropriate.  An oculo-plastics specialist can, if necessary, flush the tear ducts to clear any blockage and allow them to effectively drain the eye again.  Sometimes this is ineffective and a nasolacrimal endoscopy could be required. Babies sometimes have incompletely-formed drainage ducts and require a minor surgical procedure to open them.  Treatment for epiphora may also include the use of eye drops to lubricate irritated eyes or protective eye wear to shield them from wind. Before you look for complicated treatment options it is best to seek an opinion from a therapeutic optometrist, Fed up of suffering from watery eyes? Call us on 9290 1899 or come and see us for the best advice on how to manage your condition. 


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