Do you have a loved one who is elderly and suffering from watery eyes? You may be frustrated, wondering what the cause could be and if there’s anything you can do to help them find relief. Knowing what causes watery eyes in the elderly can help give you a better understanding of their symptoms and how you can best support them. In this blog post, we’ll explore some potential causes of this condition that affects many aging adults.
Explaining Watery Eyes in the Elderly
Watery eyes, also known as epiphora, is a condition in which excessive tears are produced, or there is an overflow of tears. It can manifest as either a continuous flow or intermittent episodes of increased moisture around the eyes. This condition is widespread in the elderly, as it can be caused by age-related degenerative changes to the eyes and tear ducts that occur as we age.
What Causes Watery Eyes in the Elderly
There are several possible causes of watery eyes in elderly individuals.
Chemotherapy drugs can cause watery eyes in elderly individuals due to the effects of these medications on the lacrimal glands, which are responsible for producing tears. Epinephrine may also cause watery eyes in elderly patients as it can increase tear production.
Other causes of watery eyes in elderly individuals include eyedrops, such as those used to treat glaucoma, and steroids, which can lead to increased tears.
One of the most common causes of watery eyes in elderly individuals is age-related changes. As we age, our tear ducts may become narrow or obstructed, reducing their ability to drain away excess tears. Additionally, age-related dry eye can also cause watery eyes due to increased tear production produced in response to dryness.
Injury or Infection
Infections such as conjunctivitis, blepharitis, and hordeolum (stye) can also cause excessive tearing in the elderly. Additionally, eye injuries or foreign objects in the eyes can lead to watery eyes in elderly individuals.
In some cases, watery eyes in elderly individuals may be due to an underlying medical condition or disease. These can include thyroid problems, diabetes, allergies, and certain neurological disorders. Additionally, certain medications, such as those used to treat depression or anxiety, can also lead to excessive tearing in the elderly.
How to Prevent Watery Eyes
The best way to prevent watery eyes in elderly individuals is to identify and treat any underlying conditions or medications that may be causing it. Additionally, ensuring adequate hydration and regularly using lubricating eyedrops can help ease dry eye symptoms, preventing excessive tearing.
It’s also important to monitor for any signs of infection or injury and to seek prompt medical attention if any of these are discovered. Additionally, regular eye exams can help identify any age-related changes or other underlying conditions that could contribute to watery eyes.
How to Treat Watery Eyes
When treating watery eyes in elderly individuals, the best course of action will depend on the underlying cause. If an infection or injury is causing the condition, then appropriate treatment should be sought and followed.
For age-related tear duct obstruction, unblocking the ducts or laser surgery may be recommended by an ophthalmologist. Additionally, treatments such as punctual plugs can be used to help reduce tear overflow in those with age-related dry eye.
For medications that are causing watery eyes, the dosage or type of medication may need to be changed if possible. In cases where this is not possible, other treatment options, such as artificial tears and other lubricants, may be used to reduce the symptoms.
Watery eyes in elderly individuals can be caused by a variety of factors, including age-related changes, medications, and underlying medical conditions. The best way to prevent this condition is to identify and treat any underlying causes or to use lubricating eyedrops to ease dry eye symptoms. Additionally, seeking prompt treatment for any infections or injuries can help reduce the risk of watery eyes in elderly individuals.
If symptoms persist or worsen, it is important to consult a doctor for further evaluation and treatment. A doctor will be able to provide the most appropriate advice on how best to treat the condition.
Morgan Elfman is a compassionate writer, dedicated caregiver, and passionate advocate for senior well-being. Born and raised with a deep sense of empathy and a natural inclination towards service, Morgan has devoted her life to making a positive impact on the lives of seniors.
As a writer for www.choiceseniorlife.com, Morgan utilizes his skills to create insightful and informative content that addresses the unique needs and challenges faced by seniors and their families. Her articles not only provide valuable information on health, lifestyle, and care options but also strive to inspire and empower seniors to lead fulfilling lives.