Watery eye, or epiphora, is the excess flow of tears. It is one of the most common ocular complaints among patients consulting ophthalmology clinics. In clinical treatment, following a diagnosis, lacrimal massage and instillation of topical antibiotic drops are suggested thrice a day. 1 2 However, some home remedies do exist to treat this condition. The absence of treatment of these types of pathologies may cause serious complications and even lead to permanent vision impairment.3 Here, we look at some home remedies to treat watery eyes.
1. Rose Water
Rose water, obtained from steam-distilling the crushed petals of roses, is an effective home remedy for watery eyes caused due to allergies. It’s widely used across the world to relax the eyes and remove irritants. For best results, dilute pure honey in water and then mix some rose water in equal proportion. Using cotton swabs to dab the mix, gently pat the eyes with the cotton pads.
2. Cold Milk
Cold milk is also an effective home remedy to treat watery eyes. In many cultures across the world, mother’s milk (breast milk) is instilled into the eye as a cure for watery eyes.4 But, unlike mother’s milk that is directly instilled into the eye, use a fine cotton cloth and moderately soak it with pasteurized milk. Then, place the damp cloth on the eyes and relax. This should ease the condition and provide relief.
Cucumbers are known for their cooling and soothing effect on the eyes. Lutein and zeaxanthin, the two major carotenoids helps in protecting the retina.5 These are naturally found in cucumber. Just as the cucumber is used by beauticians to treat dark circles around the eyes, they can be used to treat watery eyes too. Place a slice of cucumber on each eye and leave it on for about 10 minutes. Repeat the procedure if required. This will also help you remove excess heat from the eyes and leave them relaxed and moist.
An important spice with numerous healing properties, turmeric is a wonderful home remedy to cure watery eyes occurring because of allergies. It contains properties that fight infections, and its anti-bacterial quality is useful to neutralize any bacteria that may be causing the watery eye condition. Turmeric has also been used to treat uveitis without any adverse effect. 6 Turmeric boiled in water can be used to bring respite from the watery eye condition. Add 6 grams of turmeric powder to 500 ml of water and then boil it. Once the water cools down, use a soft cloth to soak in the water. You can place the wet cloth on the forehead or, alternatively, dab the damp cloth on the eyes.
Remember what mom said about the carrot? She was right – carrots are good for the eyes. They contain vitamin A and beta carotene that improves vision. Drinking carrot juice regularly helps prevent eye disorders and sharpen eyesight. Drinking two glasses of carrot juice a week or consuming raw carrots can improve vision. Vitamin A helps the eye convert light into a signal that can be transmitted to the brain, allowing us to see under conditions of low light. Supplements of vitamin A or beta-carotene, have shown to improve night vision. 7
A deficiency in vitamin A can cause eye’s photoreceptors to deteriorate, which leads to vision problems. Eating carrots rich in β-carotene may restore vision, lending truth to the old belief that carrots are good for your eyes. 8
6. Tea Bags
Tea bags can be a good method to relieve the watery eye condition. The tea in the tea bags is not of much use by themselves. Placing the tea bags on the eyes serves as a compress once they are soaked in luke warm water. Keep the tea bags in warm water for a few minutes and then place them on the eyes. Alternatively, you may add peppermint or spearmint for a more cool effect.
7. Coriander Seeds
Coriander seeds are known for their ability to heal eye infections. The eyes are rinsed with a cooled decoction of the seeds, which is also beneficial in treating watery eyes. Add 2 tablespoons of ground coriander seeds to 250 ml water. Boil it and allow the water to cool down. Rinse your eyes with this water for relief from watery eyes and to prevent eye infections.
8. Salt Water
One of the easiest home remedies to treat watery eyes is to use warm salt water. Use a soft cotton cloth or a swab of cotton and dip it in warm salt water. Use this wet cloth to wipe your eyes and to prevent infection and eye allergies. The salt content in the water fights the histamines and soothes the eyes. Salt is an anti-bacterial agent that kills bacteria and flushes toxins out of your eyes. Repeat this treatment several times a day for three days.
9. Damp Compresses
There are many causes for the watery eyes condition and blockage of tear ducts is just one of the causes. Using a soft cloth soaked in warm or cold water helps removes any dirt accumulated in the corner of the eyes and brings respite from eye fatigue. However, just water will not efficiently eliminate any bacteria that may be causing the condition. Adding a bit of turmeric paste, which has anti-bacterial properties, will neutralize bacteria.
Watery eyes may occur due to many reasons.9 10 It is important to ascertain the actual cause of the condition and administer appropriate treatment. Since eyesight is crucial for our existence, we cannot risk losing vision in the name of traditional remedy or self-medication. Consult an eye specialist to find the cause of the problem and follow their advice. The home remedies specified here may not be effective unless you have identified the actual reason for the watery eye condition. Since it about your eyes, you better watch out!
|↑1||Sekhar, G. Chandra. “Practical approach to a patient with epiphora.”Indian journal of ophthalmology 42, no. 3 (1994): 157.|
|↑2||Culliton Gary. Epiphora treatment options. Irish Medical Times. 2008.|
|↑3||Ulusoy, Mahmut Oğuz, Sertaç Argun Kıvanç, Mehmet Atakan, and Berna Akova-Budak. “How Important Is the Etiology in the Treatment of Epiphora?.”Journal of Ophthalmology 2016 (2016).|
|↑4||Verd, Sergio. “Switch from antibiotic eye drops to instillation of mother’s milk drops as a treatment of infant epiphora.”Journal of tropical pediatrics 53, no. 1 (2007).|
|↑5||Quillen, David A. “Common causes of vision loss in elderly patients.” American Family Physician 60, no. 1 (1999): 99-108.|
|↑6||Gupta, Subash C., Sridevi Patchva, and Bharat B. Aggarwal. “Therapeutic roles of curcumin: lessons learned from clinical trials.” The AAPS journal 15, no. 1 (2013): 195-218.|
|↑7||Fine Maron Dina. Fact or Fiction?: Carrots Improve Your Vision. Scientific American. 2014|
|↑8||da Silva Dias, João Carlos. “Nutritional and health benefits of carrots and their seed extracts.” Food and Nutrition Sciences 5, no. 22 (2014): 2147.|
|↑9||Sekhar, G. Chandra. “Practical approach to a patient with epiphora.” Indian journal of ophthalmology 42, no. 3 (1994): 157.|
|↑10||Ulusoy, Mahmut Oğuz, Sertaç Argun Kıvanç, Mehmet Atakan, and Berna Akova-Budak. “How Important Is the Etiology in the Treatment of Epiphora?.” Journal of Ophthalmology 2016 (2016).|