Eye Conditions and Treatment

Tearing is treated in the Cornea Service and the Comprehensive Ophthalmology Faculty Practice


Tears serve three functions: 1) to make the cornea a smooth optical surface by getting rid of small surface irregularities, 2) to keep the surface of the cornea wet to prevent damage of the cells that make up the cornea, and 3) to inhibit growth of microorganisms on the eyelids and cornea.  Excessive tearing (epiphora) can either be emotional or as a result of a disorder.  Excessive tears can be caused by problems with the external surface of the eye, problems of the tear drainage system or flaccid lower eyelids.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Blurred vision
  • Tears running down the side of the face
  • Possible infection from stagnant tears

Treatment and Prevention

  • Surgery to eliminate the obstruction of the tear duct or to create a new tear duct
  • Surgery to tighten the tendon and pumping muscle of the lower eyelid