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Epiphora (Excessive Tearing)


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Epiphora, or excessive tearing, is defined as the overflow of tears from one or both eyes. Epiphora can occur continuously (be present all the time), or it can occur intermittently (be present only sometimes). Epiphora is subdivided into two main categories: overproduction of tears or inadequate drainage of tears.

There are a variety of situations that can cause epiphora, including:

  • Eye infection
  • Scratch or cut in the eye
  • Blockage in your tear drainage system
  • Improper eyelid positioning or poor blinking
  • Dry eye
  • Environmental irritant, such as wind or smoke
  • Allergies
  • Looking at a computer or reading for long periods of time


Physical Exam
Your ENT doctor will inspect your eyes carefully and ask you questions about your excessive tearing to make a diagnosis.


Artificial Tear Drops
Your ENT specialist may recommend over-the-counter or prescription artificial tear drops if he or she suspects dry eyes are causing your epiphora. An ophthalmologist may be consulted.

Eye Ointment
Your ENT doctor may prescribe an eye ointment to help manage your symptoms related to epiphora, or to treat the underlying cause. An ophthalmologist may be consulted.

Allergy Eye Drops
If your ENT doctor suspects that allergies could be causing your excessive tears, he or she may prescribe allergy eye drops to help reduce tearing. An allergist may be consulted.

Antibiotic Drops
If an infection is causing your epiphora, your ENT specialist will prescribe antibiotic drops to treat the underlying infection. If the infection is truly the cause of your epiphora, the excessive tearing should clear up with the infection. If not, you should seek an ophthalmologic consultation.

Why Choose UHealth?

Ranked No. 28 in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. The ranking reflects the team’s dedication to excellence in research patient care and outcomes. Surgeons, audiologists, biomedical engineers, speech pathologists, researchers, and psychologists collaborate with many research programs at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine to deliver the best possible multidisciplinary care to pediatric and adult ear, nose, and throat patients.

Expertly trained multidisciplinary team. The experts at University of Miami Health have over 30 years of experience performing endoscopic dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) for the treatment of epiphora, endoscopic orbital decompression, and other transnasal endoscopic orbital procedures to remove tumors of the orbit through the nose. They are part of a well-trained group of internationally recognized endoscopic transorbital surgeons that work together daily, as an integrated multidisciplinary team of ENT doctors and ophthalmologists, who specialize in endoscopic transnasal procedures of the orbit. You will receive individualized care as our team determines the cause of your excessive tearing and determines the best treatment plan (medical or surgical) for your condition.

Our academic health center provides you with more treatment options. Our ENT specialists are experts in the field of rhinology. As part of an academic health center, we are proud to offer breakthrough treatments not available to other facilities in South Florida. We also offer our patients early access to clinical trials and new medical and procedural treatments. We provide comprehensive care for a wide array of rhinologic conditions, backed by expertise, research, and education.

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