EYES – Streaming Down Tears
Bothersome usually makes one to shed tears, likewise tears problem (increased secretion / decreased secretion / obstruction in flow) also make one bothersome. Tears problem won’t let any one to concentrate in any matter. So only, in riots & uncontrollable civilian crowds, police often use tear gas that creates burning pain in eye with overflowing tears to harass and disperse the crowd nonviolently (?). This means that one’s comfort vision lies in quantity and quality of tears. The problem of overflowing of tears is one such that affects one’s comfort vision.
Streaming down tears is medically termed as “Epiphora”. This distracted / turbulent flow will usually immerse our eyes in tears to cause blurriness, disturbing visual acuity all the time rather than giving any pain. Usually cry wets cheeks, but streaming down of tears over cheeks is also seen even while simple yawning, sneezing, laughing, coughing, vomiting, etc. Likewise, while taking very hot fluid or chilly foods, tears seems to overflow. These reactions are quite normal and require no treatment, since facial muscles compresses lachrymal gland to let out tears, during grimaces of face. But recurrent flow due to recurrent sneezing, allergic rhinitis and nervous disorders which distorts the appearance of face permanently due to paralysis should be treated accordingly, or otherwise, it will keep roll on always.
INCIDENCES & CAUSES – Tears problem are often seen in persons
- Who wears contact lenses
- Who works more with computers
- Who reads books continuously for hours together
- Who lacks vitamin A – either from food or from absorption
- Who is suffering often with in-growing eyelashes or parasites in eye lashes
- Who suffers with degenerative auto immune disorders, diabetes, dehydration, etc
- In elderly persons, where wrinkles or losing skin texture makes lower eye lid to hang loosely to drop out tears in cheeks instead of directing them into nose through normal stream.
Overflowing tears may be a sign of
- Emotional upset, great excitement, painful condition
- Sensitive eye to sparkling lights or dusts
- Exposure to chemicals, irritants or allergens, temperature variation, etc
- Dry eyes – to compensate the dryness, tears secretion will be increased naturally
- Clogged lachrymal duct – stricture or obstruction in the duct or from outside (nose)
- Lack of punctum i.e. lachrymal duct opening in the eye – congenital (from birth)
- Allergic Rhinitis involving eye
- Neurological lesions involving facial muscles i.e. Bel’s palsy, herpes zoster infection
- Nasal polyps / tumour
- Eye lid problems like Styes and Chalazion
SYMPTOMS – Tears usually roll on in turbulence in all eye problems. The over flowing / streaming down of tears itself is a symptom, causing additional symptoms like irritation, burning pain, blur vision, redness, itching, poor concentration, recurrent cold, running nose, sneezing, cough, headache, etc. Just a blink or wipe can improve one’s vision during overflowing tears.
DIAGNOSIS – Opthalmologist can easily diagnose the complaint with simple eye examination. First they rule out dry eye, then allergic tendencies and then nasal causes, etc. To derive accurate diagnosis, following tests may be necessary.
- Probe test to rule out obstruction of the lachrymal duct
- Culture and sensitivity tests of the tears to rule out infection and inflammation
- Routine blood tests to rule out infection and inflammation
- Absolute Eosinophil count to rule out the allergic tendencies
Normally, streaming down tears won’t cause any complication, since eyes are otherwise normal except watering. But occasionally, it can cause sinusitis due to running nose, headache due to blurring vision, pain or heaviness in eyes, baggy bluish swelling in the inner angle of the eye, etc.
PREVENTION – Keeping eyes clean with hygienic measures will always prevent one from further bouts.
- Wash eyes with cold water at least 4 times / day
- Wipe tears with clean kerchief or towel
- Massage upper area of the nose where it joins inner angle of eye to improve flow
- Take Vit A rich foods (cod liver oil, carrot, milk, plenty of green leafy vegetables, fruits juices etc.), since Vit A plays a vital role in normal vision and immunological defense mechanisms.
- Wear cooling glasses when get exposed to direct sunlight or bright glaring lights or stormy wind
- Sleep at least 6 hours per day
- Treat cold, nasal allergy / complaints accordingly then and there
- Squeezing eyes with hand
- Looking at direct sunlight or bright glaring lights
- Smoking and snuffing
- Exposure to dust, irritants, chemical fumes, stormy wind, etc
- Using cosmetics in eye lids
- Using strong soaps & strong shampoos
GENERAL TREATMENT – For streaming down tears, mostly doctors concentrates towards allergic reaction and they provide anti-histamine drugs widely. If there is any infection or redness, they will provide antibiotic eye drops / tablets for a course of time. If there is any block in pathway i.e. in lachrymal duct, or adjacently pressing the duct (nasal polyp or tumour), then they will go for surgical procedure for regaining free flow.
Only eyes should not be blamed for tearing problem since there are lots of other factors too influencing tears. So, in all the cases of overflow, the cause should be analysed first and treated accordingly. If it is due to irritants or foreign substance, the irritating substance should be first rooted out.
If the over secretion is due to allergic reactions, then tendency for allergy should be treated than dilating the ducts. Without treating the cause, suppressing the allergic tendency with anti-histamine drugs will work for that day only and it is not at all the right treatment for overflowing tears. If the tendency to allergy is rooted out, then overflowing tears can be cured once for all. Homeopathy provides it with out any side-effects. The objective of taking treatment should provide comfort in all means, but not with suppressed nature. If the cause is due to infective adhesion, or stricture, homeopathic medicines can address it very well, but in case of congenital lack of opening, surgical correction may be only way.
Homeopathy gives importance to patients feeling also, while selecting drug, i.e., feeling burning pain, tenderness, feeling of air blowing in the eyes, feeling as if sand in the eyes, etc.
With most apt drug, Homeopathy can stream line the tears flow and can revert overflowing tears to normalcy without drying up and controls infection by enhancing immune power.
Homeopathic medicines commonly used for overflowing tears are Acid nit, Acid flour, Apis mel, Borax, Cal carb, Euphrasia, Graphites, Hepar sulph, Mer cor, Nat mur, Petroleum, Physostigma, Pulsastilla, Rhus tox, Ruta, Silicea, Staphysagria, Sulphur, Thuja, etc. These Medicines should be taken under the advice and diagnosis of a qualified Homeopath.
Dr. S. Chidambaranathan, BHMS, MD
24 E. New Mahalipatti Road
Tel: +91-452-233-8833 | +91-984-319-1011
www.drcheena.com / www.drcheena.in
(Disclaimer: The contents of this column are for informational purpose only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional healthcare advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of healthcare professional for any health problem or medical condition.)