Watery Eyes – Causes & Treatment for Watery Eyes in Babies

Watery Eyes - Causes Treatment for Watery eyes in babies

Watering from the eye of your toddler could again make you anxious. Well let me tell you there are many reasons why it happens.    

Watering from the eye can happen due to blocked tear ducts, infections or even allergies.  Each one of them will require a different approach. For some of them minimal action from the parents can help while for some it is advisable to consult your ophthalmologist and start on treatment.  

So let me share with you all the most common causes of watering from the eyes of babies .

Causes of Watery Eyes

Blocked tear duct

Did you know this condition is the most common cause among infants? You might see the symptoms right after birth or within the first few months of life. 

 We all have a duct/ passage called the nasolacrimal duct which connects our eyes and nose and allows the continuous passage of tears.  Hey parents haven’t you noticed that whenever you put tear drops into your eyes, you get a tingling sensation in your throat too. 

Yes that’s because of this duct which acts as a connecting pathway. In infants the tear duct membrane is not fully developed and does not open up completely and hence there is a regurgitation of the tear back into the eye. But in 90 percent of the infants this condition resolves on its own and they are perfectly fine by their first birthday. 

 Sometimes you might also notice other symptoms associate with a blocked tear duct like 

  • Pus in the eye 
  • Crusting eyelids and eye lashes 
  • Redness in the corner of the eye 
  • Swelling at the side of the nose that is extremely tender and painful .  


Like we know a child takes time to gradually build up their immunity   and hence they are more susceptible to cold when compared to adults.  Watering from the eye is a very common symptom that is seen when the baby has cold, stuffed or runny nose.  


Conjunctivitis or redness of the eyes can cause watering from the eyes. Redness of the eye can occur either due to virus or bacteria or fungi.  

Along with watering, the baby might also have red eyes, swollen eye lids, matting and crusting of the eye lids and eye lashes.  At times this condition can be extremely contagious and hence necessary precautions needs to be taken 


Even during blepharitis , an inflammation that occurs due to the blockage of the meibomian glands which are  the oil glands present in the eye watering of the eyes can be seen.     


Watering is a very common symptom that is seen when the baby has allergy. Irritants like dust, pollen, hay, smoke can trigger the sensitive eyes of your toddler and cause watering. Other symptoms seen are runny or itchy nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, ear pain lethargic and cranky behavior.  

Treatment for Watery Eyes

The treatment for watery eyes in infants varies depending upon the cause. In most cases let me tell you being a doctor myself, it clears upon its own. So don’t panic.  

In case of blocked tear ducts- like I said before, they resolve on its own. But massaging the tear duct helps.  

Massage the outside of your child’s nose from the eye to the corner of the nose with a clean index finger. Apply firm pressure while massaging.  

Even applying a warm clean cloth and gently pressing it over the closed eye lids helps to clean the eye as well as provide some comfort to your child.  

In some children even after a year or two if the watering from the eye continues, then they may need to undergo nasolacrimal duct probing where in a small probe is inserted through the tear duct to widen the passage.  

However in some cases when the tear duct gets infected it may require an antibiotic treatment. Consult your ophthalmologist and you will be started on medications immediately.  

 Conjunctivitis caused by bacteria will certainly require antibiotic medication to improve the condition. Always consult your doctor before administering any medication for your toddler.  

Do not forget to consult your doctor: 

Though like I said watering of the eye is a very common symptom and it usually subsides by itself, but dear parent do not neglect it. I would strictly advise you to consult your doctor when along with watering from the eye you also notice 

  • Inflammation of the eye 
  • Redness of the eye 
  • Discharge from the eye 
  • Pain 
  • Increased sensitivity to light 
  • Continuous itching of the eye. 
  • Changes in the eye or eye lid structure.  

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