Excessive Tearing Treatment

Idaho Falls and Rexburg

Preserving eye health through professional treatment.

When a patient’s eyes begin producing tears at an abnormal rate, it can lead to a range of concerns. However, the causes can vary, so Dr. Peck provides personalized excessive tearing treatment in Idaho Falls and Rexburg to restore the health and function of the patient’s eyes.

Excessive Tearing and Its Risks

Normal production of tears serves multiple purposes, ranging from expressing emotions to clearing the eyes of irritants. Excessive tearing can arise from a range of causes, and in some cases it may require medical intervention to prevent it from putting your eye health at risk. In some cases, it may also be indicative of an underlying problem or illness. So we recommend seeking a consultation with an oculofacial expert like Dr. Peck to understand your situation and learn about your options for moving forward.
Portrait of a young woman’s eyes as she cries

Where are tears made?

The system that creates tears and allows tears to drain properly is called the “nasolacrimal system.” This is also referred to as the “tear drain system” and is made up of many parts. Tears are made by the lacrimal gland, which is under the bone at the upper-outer corner of the bone that surrounds the eye. As the lacrimal gland produces tears, the tears coat the eye.

Where do they go?

The eyelids then help spread the tears over the eye’s surface when they blink. When the tears have washed over the surface of the eye, they drain through a little tiny hole called the punctum and into little tiny tubes called the canaliculi. The tears then flow into the lacrimal sac and then down the bony nasolacrimal duct into the nose.


Anatole France
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Dr. Cutler Peck is recognized as the region’s foremost eyelid surgery specialist.
Dr. Cutler Peck is a double board-certified plastic surgeon focused on Oculofacial
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

What causes tearing?

Because there are so many structures involved with making tears, allowing the tears to cover the eye to keep it moist and keep vision sharp, and then allow the tears to drain, many different elements can cause tearing. Sometimes, tearing is caused by several different problems that occur at the same time. For this reason, it is extremely important to have your tearing evaluated and treated by an expert.

Overproduction of tears

When the surface of the eye is dry or irritated for other reasons, this can stimulate nerves that cause the lacrimal gland to produce tears. If too many tears are produced, this can cause tearing.

Loose eyelids

With age, the eyelids become loose. Certain types of medical problems, such as Floppy Eyelid Syndrome or Bell’s Palsy, can also cause the eyelids to become loose. When the eyelids are loose, the “tear pump system” that pushes/pulls the tears down into the tear drainage system does not work. When the eyelids are too loose, surgery can be done to tighten the eyelids.

Problems with the puncta

The little holes where the tears enter into the little drains in the eyelid are called “puncta.” If the puncta are not lined up in the right way, or if they become very small or close off completely, the tears cannot get into the puncta and instead drip onto the cheeks. Surgery can be done to bring the puncta back into the right position, or a simple in-office procedure can be done to open a small punctum.

Canalicular stenosis

After the tears enter the puncta or the little holes on the eyelids, they follow the little tubes, or canaliculi, into the lacrimal sac. Sometimes, the canaliculi can become closed off. This can happen after an injury, infection, or chronic inflammation that can lead to one or more of the canaliculi scarring. If there is an injury to the canaliculus, it is very important to repair it with a silicone stent to attempt to keep the little tube open. If the canaliculus is not repaired, or if the repair fails to keep the canaliculus open, it is very difficult to open the canaliculus later. If a canaliculus is closed from a scar or from chronic inflammation, an artificial tear drain that bypasses the canaliculi is usually needed. This artificial tear drain is called a Jones tube, and it is placed during surgery.

Lacrimal sac issues

Very rarely, someone may have a growth in the lacrimal sac that can block the tears from draining into the bony nasolacrimal duct. If someone has bloody tears, this may be an indication that there is a growth in the lacrimal sac. Any growth in the lacrimal sac needs a biopsy so the type of growth can be identified and treated.

Nasolacrimal duct obstruction

Relative and complete obstruction of this duct can cause excessive tearing. Typically, this condition is readily corrected by removing the obstruction in a straightforward procedure. However, additional investigation may be needed if the obstruction is of a type that might recur in the future.

How is the cause of tearing identified?

The cause of excessive tearing can be identified by an oculofacial expert conducting an examination. This exam will cover a few key points of investigation, looking at factors such as eyelid laxity and position of puncta. For example, Dr. Peck will check to see if:
  • The puncta come together or not when eyelids close
  • Any white material from puncta appears when pushing over the lacrimal sac
Probing and irrigation are also useful components in the exam, giving information about whether the canaliculi or nasolacrimal duct are blocked.
woman face touched by doctors in gloves

Schedule Your Consultation Today

Oculoplastic surgeons are specifically trained to understand and treat the many different causes of tearing. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Cutler Peck today to have your eyes evaluated and any excessive tearing treated in Idaho Falls and Rexburg at our practice.
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