Many of us experience itchy, watery eyes at certain times of the year. The dry winter air, cold harsh winds, and seasonal allergies are the most common culprits, but your eyes can tear up for other reasons as well. If your eyes won’t stop watering and the symptoms aren’t related to seasonal allergies, it’s important to find out what could be causing the symptoms. Here are 10 typical causes that can help explain why it’s likely happening. 


A tear duct blockage will not only cause your eyes to water, but it can also prevent your tears from draining properly. Often times blockages are caused by inflammation or scarring, however, they can also be caused by eye conditions that prevent proper drainage from occurring. 

Ingrown Eyelashes

If an ingrown eyelash grows in the direction of the eye, it can irritate it and the surrounding area. Misdirected lashes can rub against the eye and cause discomfort that leads to itchy and watery eyes. 

Foreign Objects

Eyelashes are designed to prevent foreign objects from getting into your eye. However, they are not fail-proof. When something gets into your eye – a piece of lint or dust – your eyes will respond by making more tears in an attempt to wash away that debris object. 


We all know what happens when we cut an onion – our eyes get irritated and start to water. Other chemical irritants can have the same effect. Candles, aerosols, cleaning products, and car fumes can aggravate our eyes and cause them to tear up to clear the irritants away.


Injury to the eye can also produce more tears. Small scratches on the lid or cornea can be painful, resulting in excessive watering of the eyes as the body tries to heal itself. Most scratches will heal in a day or two, but if your cornea has been scratched, you should talk to an eye doctor who can offer treatment. 


An eye infection like conjunctivitis, known as pink eye, can cause itchy, red, watery eyes. If your pink eye doesn’t clear up in a few days, it’s important to see your eye doctor. One type of pink eye can cause serious vision issues if left untreated. 

Torn Contact Lenses

Ripped and torn contact lenses cause irritated and watery eyes too.  Any damaged lenses should be thrown away and replaced with new ones to prevent irritation, pain, and infection. 

Dry Eyes

Dry eyes can be a common condition that occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears. This can happen when they dry up too fast, if you forget to blink, or if you don’t have enough natural lubrication. If you have dry eyes, they can sting and become irritated. Your body’s response to the irritation is to produce more tears, which can often result in watery eyes.


Pollen, mould, and pet dander can flare up allergies and cause your eyes to water. Eye drops can often help, but in some cases, you might need medication to relieve the symptoms. 

Medical Conditions

Many medical conditions can cause watery eyes to form, including diabetes, thyroid issues, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, and lupus. Certain medical treatments can also accentuate the issue. Chemotherapy drugs and epinephrine are two common medications that can cause persistent tear production as well. 

If your eyes won’t stop watering, it’s time to see an eye doctor to find out what’s going on. Book your appointment at Laurier Optical today and one of our optometrists will examine your eyes and look for any underlying conditions.