The excessive production of tears due to the faulty drainage system of eyes is known as epiphora or watery eyes. There is excessive fluid flowing over to the face from eyes in this condition. It is generally present in children and old age.



The cause of epiphora in many cases is not clear, as it is difficult to pinpoint the defect. However, it may occur due to:

  • Blockage of the tear ducts (lacrimal ducts and canaliculi)

  • Eyes irritation due to some chemical or fumes

  • Allergic conjunctivitis

  • Infective conjunctivitis

  • Trauma to eye

  • Trichiasis (inward growth of eyelashes)

  • Ectropion (outward turning of outer eyelids)



Watery eyes is a clear symptom of epiphora with the irritation of eyes in response to mild agents and even light. If epiphora is caused by an infective agent, it may be associated with fever.



The diagnosis is very easy for a trained doctor. He can make a diagnosis by just looking at the eyes. If there is some complication in making diagnosis, the instruments are used to examine the affected eye in details. Further investigations are proceeded to know about the causative agent.



Antibiotics should be used in cases of infective epiphora. The inflammatory substances accumulate in lacrimal canaliculi and tears don’t find a way out, flowing through the eyes. Antihistamines play a role in relieving allergic conditions.

A surgical procedure is needed in case of block of tear ducts and a new duct is placed by removing the blocked one in a procedure called dacryocystorhinostomy. However, if obstruction is mild, certain drug drops can also be helpful in clearing the block.