Tearing Eyes
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Nancy
Posted on: June 12, 1998

For the past SEVERAL years (at least since 1988), my eyes have been "moist", tearing, and occasionally seemed filled with "floaters". During the onset, I thought it might be related to menopause, but I determined it had started quite a few years before I noticed the onset of those symptoms. Then I thought it might be allergies, but the condition persisted throughout the entire year, and also when I left the country for extended periods of time (2 weeks to a month at a time). I even went so far as to get a referral from my primary care physician and, after having my lower eyelids numbed with some orange preparation and having small strips of litmus paper hung from them, it was determined that I had no infection. Have tried "Eye Care" herbal preparations (i.e., Lutein formula for healthy eyes) to no avail. Eye drops, of any sort do not seem to change the situation for any longer than 1-2 hours, and I cannot stop in mid-stride, so to speak, and put drops in my eyes to get the comfort to continue! Have you any suggestions on a herbal preparation to try or comments/questions I can put to my eye doctor when I see him in July?

It is possible that other allergens are involved, such as dairy products, food additives and colourings or sugar and sweeteners. It may help to try an elimination diet and keep a diet diary to note when the symptoms are better or worse as related to food, drugs, or exposure to animals, feathers or environmental chemicals.

Collagen is an important protein for the strength of body tissues including the eye, and can be increased with vitamin C, calcium and zinc, and some herbs including Fenugreek, Horsetail, Slippery Elm and Wild Yam. Herbs which can help with allergies are Eyebright and Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita). These can be taken internally as teas. A tea of Chamomile (anti-allergy, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory) Plantain (anti-histamine, anti-bacterial, anti-allergy) or Red Raspberry leaves (astringent) may be used to bathe the eye.

Other than allergies and infection (local or systemic) the only other cause of tearing that I know is corneal abrasion.

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