Chronic Eye Tearing

Chronic Eye Tearing

Epiphora,Treatment of Epiphora - the access of water or eye tearing also known as watering eye or chronic eye tearing, is a condition involving involuntary discharge of tears. A possible diagnosis of this condition is an insufficient tear film drainage, due to which tears start draining through the nasolacrimal system. We, at Houston Plastic Craniofacial & Sinus Surgery, have successfully treated all types of chronic eye tearing involving diverse intricacies. Guided by the expertise of two fellowship-certified sinus specialists who are also diplomats of the American Board of Otolaryngology, we are the only private practice in Texas exclusively specializing in sinus and nasal problems and headed by two fellowship certified sinus specialists.


Chronic Epiphora

Chronic epiphora results from a continuous or long-standing disorder. Cases of chronic epiphora always require medical intervention.

Acute Epiphora

A temporary condition such as an inflammation caused by a foreign body, or more intangible factors, such as sleep deprivation, stress, and eye strain may cause acute epiphora.

Normal Tearing

Normal tearing is a natural occurrence wherein a person experiences an overflow of tears on specific occasions.


Excessive tearing primarily results from a punctal obstruction of the nasolacrimal duct. Common symptoms of epiphora include mucous or pus-like discharge from the puncta, matting of the eyelashes and excessive tearing. Other symptoms include runny nose and sneezing (due to allergies), head cold (due to sinus infection), blepharitis and conjunctivitis (due to ectropion in older people), or bulging and dry eyes (due to an overactive thyroid).


When diagnosing epiphora, ophthalmologists try to determine whether the is a lesion, ectropion (outward-turning eyelid) or entropion (inward-turning eyelid) infection. Additionally, the ophthalmologist could insert a probe into the canaliculi (narrow drainage channels inside the eye) under anesthesia, to check for blockage. A liquid dye may also be injected into the tear duct to find out the exact location of the blockage, which is then clearly visible in an X-ray image.


1. Irritation

In case the tearing is caused by infective conjunctivitis, the doctor might wait for a week to confirm if the issue resolves itself without antibiotics.

2. Trichiasis

In cases of Trichiasis, the ophthalmologist surgically removes the inward-growing eyelash or any foreign objects that might have lodged in the eye.

3. Ectropion

In such cases of chronic eye tearing, the ophthalmologist treats the outward turning eyelid surgically tightening the tendon which holds the outer eyelid in place.


In cases where there is infection in the tear sac, dacryocystitis, the infection can be flushed out of the tear sac. If the infection does not resolve with flushing and antibiotics, a dacryocystorhinostomy(DCR) may be needed to open the tear sac and drain out the infection. Once the infection is cleared, and the eye tears can drain naturally, the epiphora will resolve.

Suspecting Chronic Eye Tearing? Contact Us, Today!

Don't let chronic eye tearing hamper your life. If you are troubled by chronic eye tearing, schedule an appointment with the ENT specialists at Houston Plastic Craniofacial & Sinus Surgery. Simply call (713) 791-0700 or fill out the consultation form, and we’ll take it from there.

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