When the glands in the eyes are not functioning as they should and eyes become dry it could be Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD).
How do eye glands work?
Glands in the eye usually produce an oily substance that reduces the evaporation of tears between blinks. However, if the glands are blocked and the oily substance is not produced as it should be then the eyes can become dry and sore and extra tears are produced to compensate.
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
The most likely cause of dry eyes is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and can be resolved with lubricating eyes drops. Holding a clean and warm, damp cloth over the eye for 5 minutes whilst gently massaging the cloth over the eyelids will also help to remove any substances that may be blocking the glands.
Hypromellose drops can be bought over the counter for lubricating the eyes and for some these work very well. However, if watering eyes persist then an appointment should be made with the GP for further investigation.
Other causes of weeping eyes
Other possible causes of persistent watering eyes could be an infection, an allergy, blocked tear ducts, entropion (eyelids that roll inwards) or ectropion (lower eyelids that sag away from the eyes).
Alternatively, you may have a stye on your eyelid. Click here to see how to deal with styes.