How can my eyes tear up, if I have dry eye?

For some dry eye patients, their main symptom of dry eye disease is excessive tearing. This may seem counterintuitive, as they usually ask, ‘Why do you think I have dry eye if my eyes are already too wet?’ The issue here is the quality of tears, not simply quantity.

Commonly the oil glands of dry eye patients are affected. When oil is not released by these clogged, unproductive glands, the eye becomes dry. Patients often notice grittiness, redness, and fluctuating vision. In order to address this, the body activates the lacrimal gland in the upper eyelid. This gland is typically only used when the patient is crying/tearing up for a known reason (think chopping onions or watching too many melancholy Hallmark movies).  The lacrimal gland is either off  or is fully-on, leading to annoying and excessive tearing.

Fortunately treatment options like LipiFlow and prescription drops can minimize and even eliminate excess tearing.  If you can’t stop tearing up, give us a call today; we’d love to help you!waterworks

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Posted in: Dry Eye Syndrome

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