Written by Dr. Rashida Shabbir Tankiwala, Diplomate of National Board (DNB) | 
Medically Reviewed by dr. simi paknikar, MD on Sep 28, 2019


Watery eyes are managed conservatively by eye drops. Non-resolving cases require surgical treatment of the cause like DCR, lid surgery or probing.

Conservative - Any cause of increased tear production such as dry eyes and eye irritation or inflammation is treated accordingly. Dry eye is treated usually with lubricating eye drops. Ocular inflammation is treated with low dose steroids by the eye doctor under his close supervision. Cause of irritation like eyelash growing inwards or a foreign body is treated by removal of the lash or foreign body. In babies, massage over the blocked nasolacrimal duct often helps to make it patent.

Treatment of Watery Eyes

Surgery -

Various types of surgeries performed for watery eye. They are as follows -

  • Dacryocystorhinostomy
  • Probing
  • Jones’ tube
  • Lid surgery

Dacryocystorhinostomy - This surgery is done when there is blockage in the nasolacrimal duct. It is done to establish an opening between the tear sac and the nose. This passage bypasses the nasolacrimal duct and facilitates tear drainage directly in the nose.

The procedure can be done in two ways -

  • External: By taking an incision between the eye and nose.
  • Internal: Same procedure done through the nose with the help of an endoscope.

Probing - This procedure is especially done in children born with watery eyes. It is done when massage over the tear drainage path fails to help alleviate the problem. It is usually done between 6 months to 1year. The probe is a tapering instrument which is passed along the tear drainage passage. It helps to rupture any obstruction in the passage causing it to canalize.

Jones Tube - When little or no lacrimal drainage exists due to trauma, tumor, inflammatory conditions or radiotherapy, then the DCR is combined with the passage of a glass tube from the eye to the nose

Jones Tube - Watery Eye Surgery
  • Tube placed connecting the eye to the nose.

Lid surgery - Failure of lid function from an ectropion is corrected by lid surgery.


  1. Adrian S. Bruce, Michael S. Loughnan ‘Anterior Eye and Therapeutics A-Z’
  2. R. Pitts Crick, Peng T. Khaw ‘A textbook of clinical ophthalmology’

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