Ask the Doctor: Dry Eyes Promote Tearing
DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I have dry eyes.
It’s very disturbing, because they have induced an increased tear production, and the tears interfere with my vision.
I do use artificial tears, but they help only for a short while.
Can you provide any advice? - F.Z.
ANSWER: It sounds contradictory to say that dry eyes cause watery eyes.
But it’s true.
Dry eyes shift the tear glands into high gear, and they produce torrents of tears.
Treating the tearing hinges on finding the cause for your dry eyes.
Medicines sometimes are to blame.
Drugs used for many digestive problems, some antidepressants, Parkinson’s disease medicines and sleeping pills are only a few of the drugs that dry the eyes.
Illnesses that do it include thyroid gland disorders, psoriasis, rosacea and Sjogren’s (SHOW-grins) syndrome.
You might not be familiar with Sjogren’s, but it’s not such a rare thing.
It’s an immune attack on the tear glands, the salivary glands or both.
When both are under attack, as they frequently are in this illness, the result is dry eyes and dry mouth.
You might try a different brand of artificial tears, or you could try artificial tears without any preservatives.
Those kinds of tears are expensive. Restasis, a prescription medicine, often can lead to a satisfactory solution to the dry-eyes problem.
You can’t successfully treat this condition on your own.
You need the help of an eye doctor to pinpoint the problem and suggest the best treatment for you.
It could be that dry eyes aren’t the reason for your watery eyes.
Perhaps you have an entirely different cause, such as a blocked tear duct.
That duct drains tears from the eyes.
A plugged duct doesn’t, and tears stream down the cheeks.
An eye doctor often can unplug the duct with a simple office procedure.