June 18, 2024
Watery eyes can be frustrating and inconvenient. Finding the right medication for watery eyes requires understanding the underlying cause and choosing the appropriate medication and lifestyle changes. This article outlines the best medications for treating watery eyes, including over-the-counter and prescription drugs, along with tips to manage watery eyes effectively.


Watery eyes can be a frustrating and inconvenient problem that many people experience. This condition occurs when the eyes produce more tears than necessary, floods the eyes, and overflows the eyelids. It can make it challenging to see, cause redness, and may lead to discomfort. Finding the right medication for watery eyes is essential to alleviate the symptoms and improve your quality of life.

5 Evidence-Based Medicines for Watery Eyes

There are several evidence-based medicines available to treat watery eyes. Here are the top five medications:

1. Antihistamines

Antihistamines can help alleviate symptoms caused by allergies that often cause watery eyes. These medications block histamines, reducing inflammation, and allergic symptoms, resulting in reduced tear production. They are usually available in tablets, nasal sprays, and eye drops. Some popular antihistamines include cetirizine, loratadine, and fexofenadine. Side effects of antihistamines may include drowsiness, dry mouth, and difficulty urinating.

2. Mast Cell Stabilizers

Mast cells are cells that release histamines. Mast cell stabilizers work by preventing the release of histamines and other inflammatory agents. By decreasing allergy symptoms, these medications can reduce eye watering. Popular mast cell stabilizers for dry eyes include cromolyn sodium and lodoxamide. They are available in eye drop form and may take several weeks to experience full benefits, but they generally have few side effects.

3. Decongestants

Decongestants work by constricting blood vessels, reducing inflammation, and drying out the eyes. They offer quick relief for itching, redness, and watering of the eyes but should only be used temporarily and under a physician’s guidance as they can cause side effects such as heart palpitations, high blood pressure, and anxiety. Common decongestants available in eye drop form include naphazoline and tetrahydrozoline.

4. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs reduce inflammation and pain by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins. Topical NSAIDs, such as ketorolac, are available in eye drop form and can reduce redness and watering of the eyes caused by inflammation. Side effects of NSAIDs are generally mild and may include itching, burning, or stinging in the eyes.

5. Steroids

Steroids are a potent medication that can reduce inflammation and swelling in the eyes that may cause watery eyes. They are usually prescribed for severe cases of dry eyes and are available in the form of eye drops and ointments. Prolonged use of steroid medication can increase the risk of cataracts and glaucoma, and some people may experience side effects such as eye irritation.

Finding the Right Medication for Your Watery Eyes: A Comprehensive Guide

When choosing a medication for watery eyes, there are several factors you should consider to make an informed decision:

The Underlying Cause of Watery Eyes

Identifying the underlying cause of watery eyes is essential in selecting the best medication and the appropriate treatment. If your watery eyes result from an allergy, antihistamines or mast cell stabilizers will be the more appropriate option. In contrast, if your eyes are watery due to a dry eye syndrome, lubricating eye drops or ointments will be more effective in relieving the symptoms.

The Severity of Watery Eyes

The severity of your watery eyes will also determine the best course of treatment. Mild cases may benefit from lubricating eye drops, whereas severe cases may require more potent medications such as steroids.

Preexisting Medical Conditions

If you have any preexisting medical conditions, you should talk to your physician before taking any medication for watery eyes. Some medications may interact with your existing medication or exacerbate underlying conditions such as glaucoma or heart disease.

Stop the Tears: Medications to Treat Watery Eyes

Using the appropriate medication can help manage your watery eyes effectively. Here are some examples of medications that can stop the tears and improve your quality of life:

Lubricating Eye Drops

These are standard over-the-counter medications that can alleviate mild cases of watery eyes. They work by improving tear composition and reducing the evaporation of tears, keeping the eye moist and comfortable. Lubricating drops do not contain preservatives and can be used as frequently as required. Examples of lubricating drops include Refresh Tears and Systane Ultra.

Gel or Ointment

For more severe cases of dry eyes, a gel or ointment may be required to supplement the tears and provide a protective barrier. These are thicker than eye drops, which makes them last longer, but they tend to blur vision. Ointments are usually applied before bedtime to improve comfort throughout the night. Examples include Refresh Celluvisc and Systane Nighttime Gel.

Prescription Medications

If over-the-counter medications and lifestyle changes do not offer relief from watery eyes, a prescription medication may be necessary. Several medications can provide longer-lasting relief from dry eyes, such as cyclosporine, lifitegrast, and autologous serum eye drops. These medications require a doctor’s prescription and, in some cases, can cause side effects that need to be monitored regularly.

Top 5 Over-the-Counter Medicines for Watery Eyes

Here’s a list of the top five over-the-counter medications that can reduce watery eyes:

Vyzulta Eye Drops

These eye drops contain a prostaglandin analog with added nitric oxide that decreases inflammation, improves blood flow to the eyes, and decreases tear production. It is a new product in the market but has shown promise in clinical trials for reducing eye watering.

Alaway Eye Drops

Alaway is an over-the-counter antihistamine eye drop that can reduce inflammation, itchiness, and redness associated with eye allergies. It can provide relief within minutes and lasts up to 12 hours, but it may cause some drowsiness.

Blink Tears Eye Drops

Blink Tears is a lubricating eye drop that contains hyaluronic acid, a natural lubricant found in the body. It can provide a quick and effective relief for mild cases of dry eyes and help stabilize the tear film, but it does not last long.

Similasan Complete Eye Relief

Similasan contains a blend of natural ingredients such as euphrasia, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It can soothe and provide relief for many eye symptoms, including redness, burning, watering, and itchiness.

Clear Eyes Redness Relief Eye Drops

Clear Eyes is a decongestant eye drop that narrows the blood vessels in the eyes and helps reduce redness and inflammation. It provides quick relief for mild cases of eye watering resulting from allergies or dry eyes, but it is not recommended for long-term use.

Don’t Let Watery Eyes Rule Your Life: Medications That Work

Managing watery eyes can be possible by incorporating these methods into our daily lives:

Wear Sunglasses Outdoors

Sunglasses can protect your eyes from wind, dust, and other irritants that can cause dry eyes. Wear the wraparound sunglasses that cover the sides of your eyes for extra protection.

Avoid Allergens

If your watery eyes result from an allergy, take steps to avoid allergens such as pet dander, pollen, or dust. You can use a HEPA filter to keep the air clean and use eye drops to relieve symptoms.

Tear Duct Plugs

If medications, over-the-counter drugs, and lifestyle changes do not provide relief for watery eyes, you may need a more invasive treatment like tear duct plugs. These temporary plugs inserted into the tear ducts help prevent tear drainage, keeping the eye surface moist with tears.


To summarize, watery eyes can result from several factors, such as allergies, dry eyes, infection, or injury. Managing the condition requires finding the underlying cause and selecting the appropriate medication and lifestyle changes. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any medication to avoid potential side effects and interactions with existing medications. With the right medication and management, you can have a better quality of life, free from irritating and inconvenient watery eyes.

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