☎ 01268 777729 Contact Us https://www.templeman-opticians.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/1_custom_landscape_Untitled_video.mp4 Can our opticians visit you at home? Yes we can! Optician Home Visit SpecialistsFamily Run In Dependant Opticians Est. Since 1969 NHS Free Home Eye Tests –patient satisfaction 100% Guaranteed Book your home visit today Optician Home Visit Eligiblity A FREE NHS HOME EYE TEST is available if you are: Aged 60 or over Under 16 or over 19 and in full time education Registered blind or partially sighted
Watery eyes in elderly people can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying eye condition. Common causes include allergies, irritation, and dry eye. In some cases, watery eyes may also be a sign of more serious conditions such as glaucoma or cataracts.
Age often brings with it a variety of health problems, including vision changes. One commonly noticed symptom among older and elderly people is watery eyes or excessive tearing.
If you are experiencing watery eyes, it is important to see an eye doctor to rule out any potential underlying conditions. Treatment will vary depending on the cause of your watery eyes but may include artificial tears, antihistamines, or steroids. Surgery may also be necessary in some cases.
Watery eyes in elderly people are often nothing to worry about. However, if you are experiencing watery eyes along with other symptoms such as pain, vision changes, or redness, it is important to see an eye doctor to rule out any potential underlying conditions.
We’ll take a closer look at some of the causes of watery eyes in older people, and what can be done to help.
Do tears help to keep your eyes healthy?
Tears play an important part in maintaining our overall eye health.
They keep the eyes moist, prevent dryness, and protect them from irritants by washing away debris and dust particles. Tears also supply the eye with oxygen and nutrients and even help prevent infections.
Once the tears have served their purpose, they have drained away through tiny ducts in the corners of your eyes.
Droopy eyelids (ectropion)
The most common cause of watery eyes in the elderly is ectropion — a name given to the sagging of the lower eyelids that develops as we age.
In older adults, this can cause excessive eye-watering as the skin of the eyelids becomes lax and droops away from the eye, reducing the ability of the eyelids to drain tears away through the tear ducts, causing them to accumulate on the surface of the eye.
This is what commonly causes the watery, teary eyes you might notice in elderly friends or relatives.
Dry eye syndrome
Elderly people frequently experience dry eyes because the eyes naturally produce fewer tears as we age. Ironically, dry eye syndrome can actually cause the eyes to overwater.
When the tear glands do not produce enough moisture regularly, the eyes become dry and irritated. To remedy this, the tear glands overcompensate and produce a flood of tears, leading to watery eyes. Alongside this, dry eyes can also develop as a side effect of medications or as a symptom of co-existing eye conditions, like glaucoma.
Cataracts are commonly characterized by cloudy, misty vision. This condition can make the eyes more sensitive to light, which can lead to excessive tear production. They usually develop slowly over many years, so even if someone has not been diagnosed with cataracts, it’s important to notice the signs and have them seen by an optometrist for further tests. If the eyes have been watering because of the presence of a cataract, surgery to remove the cataract may help reduce the watering too.
Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD)
Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is a group of disorders that affects the composition of the tear film. The most common cause of MGD is age, with some studies showing that it affects up to 78% of older people.1 Themeibomian glands are located on the edge of the eyelid and produce oil that prevents the tears from drying up too rapidly. Over time, changes to this oil or the glands that produce it can lead to excessive eye watering because the tears evaporate more quickly, so more tears have to be produced.
Eye infections and inflammation
Watery eyes in older people can also be the result of conjunctivitis or other eye infections that you become more prone to as you age. Infections can cause the eyelids and conjunctiva to swell, and might lead to blocked tear ducts which can prevent the tears from draining properly.
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Eyedrops, especially echothiophate iodide and pilocarpine
- Blepharitis (eyelid inflammation)
- Blocked tear duct
- Common cold
- Corneal abrasion (scratch): First aid
- Corneal ulcer
- Dry eyes (decreased production of tears)
- Ectropion (outwardly turned eyelid)
- Entropion (inwardly turned eyelid)
- Foreign object in the eye: First aid
- Hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
- Ingrown eyelash (trichiasis)
- Keratitis (inflammation of the cornea)
- Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
- Stye (sty) (a red, painful lump near the edge of your eyelid)
- Tear duct infection
- Bell’s palsy
- Blow to the eye or other eye injury
- Chemical splash in the eye: First aid
- Chronic sinusitis
- Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener’s granulomatosis)
- Inflammatory diseases
- Radiation therapy
- Rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory joint disease)
- Sarcoidosis (collections of inflammatory cells in the body)
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome
- Surgery of the eye or nose
- Tumors affecting the tear drainage system.
How can a home eye test help?
If you notice excessive eye watering in an older friend or relative, it’s important that they see an optometrist to have their eyes checked thoroughly. We understand that some older adults may find it difficult or be unable to attend eye tests in-store due to physical or mental disabilities, which is where our home visits service can help.
Our visiting opticians can perform a full eye test at home, and in care homes, to check the overall health of the eyes, and detect any underlying cause of overwatering. If a serious eye condition is found, we’ll be able to advise on the appropriate treatment options or refer you to a specialist for further testing.
In older adults, persistent watery eyes may occur as the aging skin of the eyelids sags away from the eyeball, allowing tears to accumulate and flow out.
Sometimes, excess tear production may cause watery eyes as well.
Allergies or viral infections (conjunctivitis), as well as any kind of inflammation, may cause watery eyes for a few days or so.