How to Stop Watery Eyes at Home: Simple Remedies and Tips

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How to Stop Watery Eyes at Home: Simple Remedies and Tips

Constantly watery eyes can be frustrating to deal with. Before considering specialty eye drops or procedures, there are many home remedies you can try to manage excessive tearing. Simple solutions like warm compresses, eyelid scrubbing, and nasal rinsing often provide relief by addressing the underlying causes of blocked tear ducts, allergies, and irritation. This guide covers easy, natural methods on how to stop watery eyes at home and answers frequently asked questions.

How to Stop Watery Eyes at Home Methods:

How to Stop Watery Eyes at Home

Warm Compress

Applying a warm, moist compress encourages drainage in clogged tear ducts to reduce overflow tearing:

  • Soak a clean washcloth in warm water. Wring it out so it remains damp but not dripping.
  • Drape it over your closed eyelids for 5-10 minutes as you relax. Reheat the cloth as needed to maintain warmth.
  • The moist heat softens oil secretions blocking the lacrimal ducts under the eyelids, allowing tears to drain properly.
  • Repeat 2-3 times daily. The warm temperature also soothes eye irritation.

You can reuse a fresh washcloth for several days. Just store it in an airtight bag in the fridge between uses. The simple routine clears obstruction for tear outflow.

Eyelid Scrubbing

Gently scrubbing the eyelid margins loosens debris and stimulates oil expression from blocked meibomian glands:

  • Wet a clean fingertip or cotton swab with warm water.
  • Gently rub it back and forth along the base of the eyelashes on the upper and lower lids.
  • Take care not to tug on the delicate eyelid skin. Repeat 5-10 times per lid.
  • Finish by massaging the outer eyelids using smooth circular motions.
  • Perform daily before bed to clear obstructions in the glands and keep excess oil from clogging during sleep.

The mild exfoliation removes buildup to keep tears flowing freely without overflowing. Be very gentle and stop if any discomfort arises.

Saline Rinse

Rinsing the nasal passages can alleviate allergic reactions and irritation causing watery eyes:

  • Mix 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt in 1 cup warm distilled water. Stir until dissolved.
  • With head tilted forward, sniff some solution into each nostril and let it drain out the other side.
  • Repeat on each side 2-3 times allowing the saline to fully flush the nasal lining.
  • Finish by blowing your nose gently to clear mucus.
  • Perform 1-2 times per day or as needed during allergy flare-ups. The saltwater wash removes pollen, pet dander, and irritants.

Saline rinses also combat sinus congestion, colds, and post-nasal drip that can trigger reflexive tearing. Use distilled water to make the solution.

Cool Compress

For eyes irritated by allergens or environmental factors, a cool compress can provide soothing relief:

  • Soak a soft washcloth or paper towel in ice-cold water.
  • Apply gently over closed eyelids for 5-10 minutes. Re-chill as needed.
  • The cold constricts blood vessels to reduce swelling and fluid accumulation causing red, puffy eyes.
  • It also limits the release of histamines and prostaglandins involved in allergic reactions.
  • Use as needed for irritated eyes. Discard single-use paper towels after each use.

The chilling effect calms inflammation making eyes feel less irritated. Avoid applying anything frozen directly.

Other Handy Home Remedies

Additional tips on how to stop watery eyes at home:

  • Limit screen time which strains eyes prompting reflexive tearing.
  • Take over-the-counter antihistamines for allergic watering. Loratadine or cetirizine works well.
  • Consider swapping contact lenses for eyeglasses temporarily if they aggravate tearing.
  • Run a humidifier to combat dry air that worsens leakage.
  • Rinse eyes out with artificial tears to provide lubrication and flush out irritants.
  • Apply chilled cucumber slices or damp green tea bags to eyelids to reduce puffiness.
  • Wear sunglasses outside to protect your eyes from wind and sunlight irritation.
  • Have your eye doctor check for scratched corneas or blocked oil glands at exams.

When to See Your Eye Doctor About Watery Eyes

See an eye doctor promptly if:

  • Excessive tearing persists longer than 2-3 weeks despite home remedies.
  • Vision becomes blurry or compromised.
  • You experience eye pain, redness, discharge, or light sensitivity.
  • Eyelids become swollen or crusty.
  • You develop headaches around the eyes.
  • Home remedies provide no relief.

An optometrist can check for underlying issues like corneal damage, glaucoma, or blocked nasolacrimal ducts. Prescription eye drops, oral medication, or procedures may be prescribed for chronic tearing.

FAQs About How to Stop Watery Eyes at Home:

Here are some frequently asked questions about how to stop watery eyes at home:

Are watery eyes a sign of pink eye?

Answer: Excessive tearing alone is not indicative of pink eye (conjunctivitis) without other symptoms like eye discharge, grittiness, redness, or pain. Always see a doctor for a diagnosis.

Does excess eye mucus cause watery eyes?

Answer: Yes, mucus discharge from conditions like allergies or colds can overflow the tear ducts causing overflow tearing. Rinsing the nasal passages helps minimize excess mucus production.

Can certain foods or drinks cause watery eyes?

Answer: Yes, certain foods like spicy dishes, alcohol, and caffeine can irritate the eyes prompting tearing. Try eliminating suspected triggering foods.

Will warm or cool compresses help more for itchy eyes?

Answer: For itchy eyes due to allergies and hay fever, cool compresses usually provide greater relief by suppressing the inflammatory response.

How often should you use warm compresses for blocked tear ducts? Apply a warm compress 2-3 times daily for 5-10 minutes each session. Consistency helps soften and loosen blockages.


Chronically watery eyes are annoying but often respond well to simple home remedies like eyelid scrubbing, warm compresses, saline rinses, cool compresses, artificial tears, and avoiding triggers. Use a consistent routine focused on addressing the underlying cause, whether allergies, blocked ducts, or irritation. See an eye doctor if symptoms do not resolve within 2-3 weeks using home treatments. With some diligent effort, you can clear up excess tearing without the need for prescription medication in many cases.


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