View Full Version : Watery Eyes

Nonda Surratt
03-03-2008, 08:05 AM
Yea..It is a real issue and I do wear glasses, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

For some reason my eyes are and have always been sensitive to wind and at times cold alone, they start watering like crazy which can make it very difficult to see what the heck you are doing. Eye exams do the same thing 'at times'.

Nuts question, but a real issue:o

Robert O'Toole
03-03-2008, 04:19 PM
For me this problem just occured only a few days ago. At the beach with a strong NW wind my eyes were watering making the image in the viewfinder impossible to see. For me this is pretty rare but can happen at times.

I would recommend trying a large rain cover to cut down on the wind and cold. Some versions are large enough to cover your head while looking using the viewfinder and even the LCD. Almost like a dark cloth used by view camera photogs.

Hope this might help.


Fabs Forns
03-03-2008, 04:23 PM
I wear glasses except to photograph. I finf my eyes get watery and the glasses tend to fog in the Florida humidity, so it is contacts time for me every time I use the camera.

Alfred Forns
03-03-2008, 04:27 PM
Do you shoot with the glasses on? For more protection you can try a different style which wraps more of the eye Not sure it will be practical for looking through the viewfinder

Nonda Surratt
03-03-2008, 06:10 PM
Robert it happens a lot with me and I just now got the guts up to ask about it. Your suggestion is a quick fix for sure.

Fabs not sure if contacts would help, but it is sure worth looking into (reason being the close up distance thing) but that is what Eye Dr's are for. I don't like shooting with glasses on at all.

Alfred can't do the wraps with my eye prescription and I flat out love them.

Thanks for taking the time to answer and give suggestions on this really PITB issue.

George DeCamp
03-03-2008, 08:00 PM
Fabs not sure if contacts would help, but it is sure worth looking into (reason being the close up distance thing) but that is what Eye Dr's are for. I don't like shooting with glasses on at all..

I have the same problem. If I put 2 contacts in I can't read my settings. What I do is kinda odd but lots of others also do it according to my Eye doc. I use one lens, monovision is what they call it.


I only use one contact, the other eye focuses fine on the reading part. Although not for everyone I started doing this while diving 10yrs ago to read my gauges and have learned to use it for everything now. I keep one in at work, one while taking photos but for long trips when I know I will only be driving etc I use both lenses. It is something you need to get used to but it works!

ps: I don't use the above offices I just googled monovision and they had a good explination.

Ed Cordes
03-03-2008, 09:36 PM
Believe it or not many cases of "watery eyes" are actually caused by dry eye. What happens is that the tear film that is supposed to protect the tissue on the front of the eye either evaporates or is deficient enough that it beads up like water on a well waxed car. Either of these cases will expose the underlying tissue to irritation. The irritation sends a message to the brain asking for help. The brain sends more tears, but they are very watery with not a lot of viscosity, so they just run out. Of course, wind and cold exacerbate the situation.

There are some people with very small, or closed puncta (tear ducts). Contrary to popular belief the tear ducts remove tears from our eyes and drain them into our nose. This is why our nose runs when we cry. If this channel is obstructed in any way the tears cannot be drained fast enough so they run out. Your eye doctor can give you advice on this.

Sometimes larger glasses help, but most times the cold and wind still get in. Contacts may help, but may also make it worse if your eyes are just too dry to support the lens without it causing its own irritation.

Most doctors will prescribe some form of artificial tear drop to thicken the tears (adding viscosity) and protect the tissue. There are some good drops out there, but most patients say the good effect is not long lasting. It may however get you through a photo shoot. Do not use "get the red out drops" of any kind. These will just constrict the blood vessels on the eye without treating the problem. They may actually make it worse and they have a "rebound effect" which makes the eyes redder after the drops wear off. Patients also build up a tolerance to them requiring more frequent installation for the same effect. So, if you are going to try drops be sure they are a form of artificial tear.

Some people have a mild chronic immune response causing chronic dry eye. In these cases a prescription drop called Restasis is appropriate. Restasis is a twice a day drop (using it more doesn't help and is a waste of very expensive medicine). It takes about 2 months of use to see if it works. It has about a 70% success rate. Side effects are some burning on installation and redness.

In harder to treat cases I often prescribe a combination of Restasis twice a day, Artificial Tears 4 times a day, and an ointment at night called Lacrilube. Lacrilube (generics are fine) is a sterile ointment without any medicine in it. However 1/4 inch applied in the eye at bed time prevents the eyes from drying out as we sleep. Those of you with chronic dry eye know that it is often worse upon awakening. In the AM there will be dried crusty ointment on your lids; just wash it off.

Finally, there are some patients for which I prescribe Omega 3 Fatty Acid tablets (Fish Oil). The usual dose is 1000 mg twice a day. It often takes a month or so to see the results and there can be a few patients with gastrointestinal side effects, but it is one of those things that often tips the balance to successful treatment.

All that said, watery eye (dry eye) is a very tough symptom to alleviate. There are also many cases that just don't respond well.

OK, now I have put you all to sleep learning about dry eye.

For the record, I am an eye doctor in New York for 31 years. 25 years in private practice then 5 1/2 years ago I sold the practice to a multidisciplinary group and have been on staff there since. I see about 10 patients a day with significant dry eye symptoms.

Good Luck!

Fabs Forns
03-04-2008, 12:17 AM
Thank you, Ed, for the thorough explanation!

Alfred Forns
03-04-2008, 12:17 AM
Big thanks for the explanation Ed !!!! Much appreciated !!!!

Anita Rakestraw
03-04-2008, 02:47 AM
Nonda, I was having that problem too a couple years ago, saw my eye dr.; he thought it was dry eye and gave me samples and prescription for Restasis and something else (maybe it was some kind of artificial tears). The trouble was, the usage schedules were ridiculous and my dr. said that most people just didn't follow it. I was one of them! (It sounds like Ed's suggestion for use is less complex.) However, I did use the samples up over a period of time and the problem did resolve and stayed resolved for a year or so. Unfortunately I am now having it again so should probably try the regime again. My point is that Ed may be right on target about your issue and it is probably worth a visit to your eye doctor. Good luck!

If you are having dry eye, contacts may just not work out....I gave up wearing them finally, they just became more trouble than they were worth.

Nonda Surratt
03-04-2008, 07:52 AM
Great read Ed! Thanks. I have worn contact w/o issue but went back to glasses more for eye protection than anything else, working with wildlife often requires eye protection of some sort. Goggles would be like me remembering to grab my gloves;)

Time for an eye exam soon so will run this by Frank. This is something new, the watery eye bit, since I didn't have the issue last winter although my eyes have always watered during eye exams.

Thanks a bunch for your help folks!

Jan Walker
04-02-2008, 09:35 AM
Can't eyes watering also be a symptom of allergies? If you don't already take antihistamines for something else, maybe you could try a claritin-type generic and see if it helps. Wind often carries lots of organic irritants some of which cause an immune reaction. (Also be sure to keep the sunscreen well away from your eyes!)

Nonda Surratt
05-06-2008, 08:40 AM
Update...No dry eye. I am trying out the B&L Multi-focal contacts, what a joy to use the camera w/o glasses! I don't feel I have to 'strain' (only way I can explain it) to see.

Jan yes I have allergies, badly, and use to take Clairtin back when it was a scrip drug..Just broke down and bought some the other day.

Alfred Forns
05-06-2008, 10:04 AM
Glad to hear Nonda !!!!! Must make a huge difference !!! I never like photographing with glasses !!!! btw if you use sun screen be careful Gets in the eyes and is extra painful with contacts !!!!

George DeCamp
05-07-2008, 07:10 PM
Jan yes I have allergies, badly, and use to take Clairtin back when it was a scrip drug..Just broke down and bought some the other day.

Bring a little "saline" bottle with you if you are taking Claritin and wearing contacts as it can dry your eyes to the point the contacts can become irritating. This does not happen to everyone!!

Great to hear you found something that works!!

George DeCamp
05-07-2008, 07:11 PM
btw if you use sun screen be careful Gets in the eyes and is extra painful with contacts !!!!

Oh man is it ever!!! :eek:

Nonda Surratt
05-08-2008, 08:57 AM
Thanks for the saline tip George. Have tons of the stuff in little plastic tubes (sterile).

Sun screen? Never use it:) Now if I make it to FL next spring probably will.