Watery Eyes: A Surprising Symptom of Dry Eye

Feb 1, 2024 | Dry Eye, Eye Diseases

When you hear the phrase “dry eye,” you probably think of itchy, dry, and irritated eyes—not eyes that tear up all the time. However, watery eyes can be a surprising symptom of dry eye. In this blog, we’ll explore why this happens and share some tips for managing dry eye from our expert eye doctors in Omaha, Nebraska, and Council Bluffs, Iowa 

Understanding dry eye 

First, it’s important to understand what dry eye is. Dry eye, also known as dry eye syndrome, happens when your eyes can’t make enough tears to keep them lubricated. It can also occur when your eyes only produce poor-quality tears. This can cause a range of symptoms, including eye redness, itching, burning, and yes, even watery eyes.  

When your eyes get dry, they can get irritated and inflamed. As a result, your tear glands start producing more tears to make up for the dryness. However, these tears aren’t the same quality as your natural tears, so your eyes stay dry and irritated. 

How can you tell if it’s dry eye? 

While watery eyes are a sign of dry eye, they can also be a sign of other conditions or an eye infection. Visiting your eye doctor is the best way to know for sure. They’ll perform an eye exam and evaluate your symptoms. Along with watery eyes, dry eye can also cause blurry vision, sensitivity to light, and a gritty or sandy feeling in your eyes. 

Treating dry eye 

Treating dry eye promptly is crucial because if left untreated, it can cause corneal damage, infection, and even vision loss. Additionally, dry eye can negatively affect your quality of life, making your eyes feel tired and irritated and lowering your productivity.  

There are different options available for treating dry eye, such as tear duct plugs, medications to ease inflammation, special eye drops, contact lenses, light therapy, or even eyelid surgery. Lifestyle changes such as using a humidifier, staying hydrated, and taking frequent breaks from screens may also help. Our doctor will work with you to find the best way to take care of your dry eye. For example, if your dry eye is caused by blocked oil glands, we may recommend warm compresses to help loosen and melt blockages in your glands.  


If you’re dealing with watery eyes, don’t ignore them. It’s important to see an eye doctor for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. At Ideal EyeCare in Omaha, Nebraska, and Council Bluffs, Iowa, our eye doctors are experts in diagnosing and treating dry eye. We use the latest technology and advanced treatments to help you manage your dry eye and improve your eye health. Get in touch with us today to schedule an eye exam and learn how we can help you see more comfortably.