One Eye Watering
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Reviewed By:

Ami Shah Vira, MD

Ami Shah Vira, MD (Ophthalmology)

Dr. Shah Vira grew up in Arizona. She moved to Chicago to complete a combined engineering and medical program at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and Chicago Medical School. She completed a highly competitive two year dual fellowship in Neuro-ophthalmology and Oculoplastic at the highly regarded Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Shah Vira specializes in surgical correction of the eyelids and eyebrows, eyelid malposition and tumors, excessive tearing, and conditions involving the orbit.

Masashi Mimura, MD

Masashi Mimura, MD (Ophthalmology)

Dr. Mimura Graduated from the Osaka Medical College and obtained his ophthalmologist certification in 2007. He opened an outpatient clinic for oculoplastic and reconstructive surgery at Osaka Kaijo Hospital. Subsequently, he was appointed as the assistant professor at the Department of Ophthalmology, Osaka Medical College, in 2014. He then served an international fellowship at the Department of Ophthalmology/Oculoplastic and Reconstructive Surgery, California State University, San Diego. Since then, he has been appointed as Lecturer in the Departments of Ophthalmology at Osaka Medical College and Toho University Medical Center Sakura Hospital. Dr. Mimura is currently the Director of Oculofacial Clinic Osaka, where he specializes in Oculofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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Content updated on Dec 3, 2023

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  • Only one eye has tears

  • Unilateral tearing

  • Tears from one eye

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About the Symptom

This can happen when the eye is inflamed or irritated, such as when you have allergies or an eye infection. Excess tears are the body's attempt to wash away whatever is irritating the eye. If tearing is only in one eye, it may also be due to a blockage in the drainage duct.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Headache

  • Fever

  • Unilateral blindness

  • Conjunctival redness

  • Eye pain

  • Blurring of vision

Possible causes

Generally, One eye watering can be related to:

  • Intraocular foreign body

    Intraocular foreign bodies are unintentional projectiles that are retained in the eye and require urgent diagnosis. If left unattended, they may lead to vision loss and blindness.

  • Cluster headache

    This condition involves repetitive brief headaches that occur as episodes of severe pain (typically on one side of the head) associated with possible eye redness/tearing or runny nose. These episodes happen in bouts or "clusters" of several per day, potentially lasting for weeks or even months in a row. The pain can be disabling and greatly interfere with daily life.

  • Migraine

    A type of headache that typically presents as throbbing, pulsating pain on one side of the head, sometimes with associated nausea or sensitivity to light and sound. Sometimes, sensory disturbances, such as vision changes (seeing flashing lights or zigzag lines), can occur before the headache. The pain may worsen on exposure to bright lights or loud noise. Triggers for migraine include stress, poor sleep, caffeine, and hormonal changes in women.

  • Uveitis

  • Common cold (upper respiratory tract infection)
  • Allergic rhinitis / allergic conjunctivitis (including spring catarrh)
  • Sinusitis

Related serious diseases

Sometimes, One eye watering may be related to these serious diseases:

  • Acute glaucoma attack

    A condition caused by high pressures in the eyeball, more common in people with farsightedness. Persons of Black, Asian, or Hispanic descent are at higher risk. The high pressures can cut off blood flow to the eye. Prompt medical attention is needed to prevent permanent blindness.

  • Endophthalmitis

Doctor's Diagnostic Questions

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom:

  • Is there tearing from one eye only?

  • Do your eyes hurt?

  • Are your eyes dry?

  • Are your eyes swollen?

  • Do you have discharge from your eyes?

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Find Similar Symptoms

Symptoms from similar body parts

References

  • Tearing patient - American Academy of Ophthalmology

    https://www.aao.org/eyenet/article/tearing-patient-diagnosis-management

Reviewed By:

Ami Shah Vira, MD

Ami Shah Vira, MD (Ophthalmology)

Dr. Shah Vira grew up in Arizona. She moved to Chicago to complete a combined engineering and medical program at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and Chicago Medical School. She completed a highly competitive two year dual fellowship in Neuro-ophthalmology and Oculoplastic at the highly regarded Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Shah Vira specializes in surgical correction of the eyelids and eyebrows, eyelid malposition and tumors, excessive tearing, and conditions involving the orbit.

Masashi Mimura, MD

Masashi Mimura, MD (Ophthalmology)

Dr. Mimura Graduated from the Osaka Medical College and obtained his ophthalmologist certification in 2007. He opened an outpatient clinic for oculoplastic and reconstructive surgery at Osaka Kaijo Hospital. Subsequently, he was appointed as the assistant professor at the Department of Ophthalmology, Osaka Medical College, in 2014. He then served an international fellowship at the Department of Ophthalmology/Oculoplastic and Reconstructive Surgery, California State University, San Diego. Since then, he has been appointed as Lecturer in the Departments of Ophthalmology at Osaka Medical College and Toho University Medical Center Sakura Hospital. Dr. Mimura is currently the Director of Oculofacial Clinic Osaka, where he specializes in Oculofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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