September 2018

iStock 478310872 669x272 1

Confused by Those Watery Eyes? It Could Be Time to See a Doctor!

The eyes get watery sometimes, but the production of tears should not become a nuisance. The eyes typically make enough tears to keep the ocular surface moist, and they also have natural drainage tubes that clear old fluid out to make way for new tears. There are several reasons why tears may build up and cause excessively watery eyes. If you’re living with this condition that we refer to as Epiphora, you need to know there are solutions that can put a stop to this frustrating problem.

What Causes Watery Eyes?

The thing about watery eyes is that there is more than one potential cause. Therefore, there must be more than one available treatment option. To determine the most appropriate protocol for treating watery eyes, we must know what is causing them. This means we have to look at the tear film.

Ocular health relies heavily on a healthy tear film. Tears aren’t just for crying, they provide vital nutrients to the ocular surface and contain antibodies that help ward off infection. Tears originate in the lacrimal gland that is located deep within the tissue of the upper, outer eyelid. They have a fatty layer, an aqueous layer, and a mucus layer, each of which is present when the tear film leaves the gland. When tears leave the lacrimal gland, they are spread across the eye by blinking. They travel from the upper, outer region to the inner, lower region, where they can then exit the eye through the puncta and down through the nose.

What Causes Excessive Tearing?

We cannot assume that excessive tearing means that the lacrimal gland is simply over productive. There are several other causes to consider. It could be that the eyelids are inflamed or that there is a malposition of the eyelid. Either detail of the eye could disrupt the balance of the fatty layer of tears. Without sufficient oil, the tear film evaporates quickly, causing dry eye. When the ocular surface is intensely dry, the natural response is for the lacrimal gland to make more tears. Excessive watering resultant from dry eye syndrome may be a relatively easy fix using eye drops or innovative ophthalmic treatments to reduce eyelid inflammation.

Excessive tearing resultant of eyelid malposition may relate to entropion or ectropion. Entropion describes an inward turning of the eyelid margin. An inward turn can cause inflammation as the eyelashes rub against the ocular surface. Conversely, ectropion describes an outward turn. When the eyelid turns outward, there is no contact between the eyelid margin and the eye, which exposes the ocular surface to the environment. The natural reflex, then, is for the eye to water. Because the outward turn also disrupts the position of the punctum, the natural drainage system, tears also have nowhere to go. Eyelid malposition can often be corrected in an outpatient procedure.

Schedule a Consultation

We have discussed only a few of the potential causes of excessive tearing. To discover why your eyes are watering excessively, schedule a consultation in our Denver office. Call (303) 839-1616 for assistance.

iStock 922946166 669x272 1

Finding Solutions for Thyroid Eye Disease

The thyroid gland is small, but rather complex. The hormones and other chemicals produced in this gland need to be in balance for functional health. An overactive thyroid gland can cause a number of concerns, including thyroid eye disease (a complication of Grave’s disease). When abnormal function in the thyroid gland affects the eyes, both vision and cosmetic appearance may be altered.

Thyroid eye disease is recognizable through various symptoms. These include chronic dry eye, irritation such as grittiness and redness, and bulging. The reason why the eyes bulge as a result of Grave’s disease is that the muscles that support the eyeballs shift and become lax. Over time, the protrusion of the eyes can worsen. For this reason, it is vital to consult with an ophthalmic specialist who is familiar with the nuances of thyroid eye disease.

Dr. Fante has extensive knowledge of Grave’s disease and how to treat this condition in collaboration with endocrinologists or general health practitioners. The way in which thyroid eye disease is treated in our Denver facility is determined by the extent of the disease and objectives in the broader treatment plan.

Ophthalmic Treatment for Thyroid Eye Disease

A specialist in thyroid eye disease will use appropriate non-surgical and surgical approaches to correct four of the prominent effects of the autoimmune disorder. These include:

  • Eyelid Changes: Initial symptoms of thyroid eye disease may occur in the eyelids. This is as a result of shifts in muscles and other supportive structures around the eyeballs. Early indications of thyroid eye disease may include persistent puffiness and swelling that flares up at times. Eyelid retraction may also develop, preventing the eyes from closing entirely.
  • Proptosis (Eyelid Bulging): This symptom occurs as the muscles around the eyeball of one or both eyes continues to deteriorate. This allows forward pressure to push the eyeball outward.
  • Double-Vision: A more advanced symptom of thyroid eye disease, double-vision may occur when the muscle structure around the eyes breaks down so much that the eyes are not well-controlled. As the eyes shift out of alignment, the ability to observe objects with absolute clarity diminishes.
  • Optic Neuropathy: The optic nerve is located at the back of the eye. This is where it transmits light to the brain for interpretation. Swelling in the eye compresses the optic nerve, impeding vision. The optic nerve is intensely receptive. The nerve has the potential to be damaged beyond repair if the procedure is not performed correctly.

Schedule a Consultation

Discover how the team in our Denver office can help you manage your ongoing health with appropriate treatment for your condition. Contact us by calling (303) 839-1616 to schedule your consultation.


Contact Us

* All indicated fields must be completed.
Please include non-medical questions and correspondence only.



Accessibility Toolbar

Scroll to Top