When you’re stressed, sleepy, or even just excited, your body might produce excess tears. This phenomenon is also known as crying or weeping. When you experience tear-inducing moments because of something you see, read, hear or smell — such as laughter release stress hormones called endocrine GLANDSENDOCRINE glands. These hormones initiate physiological changes necessary for responding to stressful situations. This article explores why your eyes water when you lay down and what triggers it in more detail.
Why Do My Eyes Water When I Lay Down?
You Have a Dust Mite Infestation
First, let’s talk about allergies. Dust mites are microscopic bugs that live in your bedsheets, carpets, and other household fabrics. They feed on human skin cells, and as a result, people with allergies have a very strong reaction to them. If you have dust mite allergies, then any time you are in bed, your eyes are likely watering due to the allergens in your sheets and pillows. This can be especially bad if you have synthetic fabrics or materials that retain more allergens like polyester, or if you have a very high infestation of dust mites.
Your Lenses Are Irritated
If you wear contacts, then you may have noticed that your eyes water when you lay down but not when you stand up. What’s going on here? Well, anytime you wear contacts, there’s a risk that you’ll get a build-up of bacteria or other eye irritants behind them on the surface of your eyes. When the lenses of your contacts touch the surface of your eye, it creates an environment that is more conducive to bacterial growth. Unfortunately, your eyelids aren’t a very effective barrier against bacteria, so it’s easy for a bacterial infection to flare up behind your lenses. When you lie down, the contact lenses come into more direct contact with your eyelids and the skin around your eyes. Your eyelids aren’t nearly as effective at blocking bacterial growth as your corneas, so an infection underneath your lenses is more likely to come into contact with these issues.
You’re Suffering From Dry Eyes
If you are experiencing dry eyes, there is a chance it could be causing your eyes to water when you lay down. Dry eyes are a very common ailment, affecting over 50 million people in the United States alone. Dry eyes aren’t a fully understood condition, but one of the leading theories suggests that chronic dry eyes are caused by a deficiency in the tear film. In most people’s eyes, tears are made up of three different components: water, oil, and a substance called “mucus”. Some people produce fewer tears than others, and their tear film is less effective. The cornea, the transparent layer that covers the front of your eye, tends to be drier in people who suffer from chronic dry eyes.
You Have an Eye Infection
Eye infections like pink eye and conjunctivitis can cause your eyes to water when you lie down. The most common cause of pink eye is a bacteria called staphylococcus aureus. These bacteria are transmitted from person to person through direct physical contact. You can get pink eye from touching something that someone with the bacteria on their hands has touched and then touching your eyes. You can also get it by sharing a towel or pillow with someone who has the bacteria.
You Have Ocular roliditis
Ocular roliditis is another common cause of your eyes watering when you lay down. It’s rarer than the other causes mentioned above, but if you’ve had any eye issues in the past, it’s a good idea to ask your doctor if you have it. Roliditis is an inflammation of the muscles that control eye movements. It causes your eyes to water, itch, and feel like they’re stuck in one position.
Why Do My Eyes Water When I’m Exercising?
Exercising causes your body to produce certain hormones that are associated with stress. The amount of these hormones varies from person to person, but they’re at their highest when your body is under stress.
- The most common hormone responsible for causing excess tears while exercising is adrenaline.
- When your body releases this hormone, your eyes involuntarily tear up.
- when your eyes produce more tears, they can become sensitive to light.
- This is why you might experience watery eyes while exercising in bright light.
Why Do My Eyes Water When I Have A Cold Or The Flu?
- When your eyes water in response to a cold or the flu, it’s typically because the viruses in your system are triggering your immune system to go into overdrive.
- Your immune system releases cytokines, which are small proteins that help regulate your immune system.
- When your eyes water, it’s often because they’re releasing more tears. So, when your eyes water, it’s usually because they’re trying to stay hydrated.
- This occurs because viruses deplete the salt and water in your body, leading to dry, watery eyes.
- In addition, you may also have a viral infection in your nasal passages, which causes mucus to build up.
- When the mucus in your nose drips down your throat, it causes you to cough. This coughing can cause you to tear up.
How To Stop Your Eyes From Watering?
Watch What You Eat
Foods rich in vitamins A and E, such as avocado, walnuts, and spinach, can help reduce the amount of tear production by up to 40%. If you’re struggling with watery eyes due to poor nutrition, adding more of these foods to your diet may be a natural solution. Other foods that may help include cherries, blackcurrants, and cucumbers. One thing to note is that if you’re taking supplements or a multivitamin, it may be worth reducing the dosage for a few weeks to see if that makes a difference. Ingesting too many vitamins can actually cause increased tear production, as can eating too much sugar.
Exercising is a great way to clear your head, reduce stress and improve your overall health. It can also help reduce the amount of tear production you experience, particularly if the exercise is high intensity. Cycling, running, high-intensity interval training, and swimming are some examples of exercises that might help. When your body feels stressed, it produces more tears. This is an evolutionary response that developed as a response to protect your eyes when they’re exposed to bright sunlight. As such, reducing stress can also help reduce tear production. Meditation, yoga, tai chi, and other relaxation techniques can all be useful for this, as can keeping a journal or talking to a close friend.
Try Artificial Tear Drops
If you’re regularly experiencing dry eyes, it might be worth investing in a bottle of artificial tear drops. These are designed to rehydrate your eyes and improve your comfort and vision. They’re available over-the-counter at most pharmacies, but you should read the label carefully to make sure you choose the right formula for your needs. If you wear contact lenses, it’s worth checking with your optician or eye doctor to see if you need to make any special changes to your care routine. If you wear glasses, you may find that using artificial tear drops reduces the amount of water they accumulate.
Get New Eyewear
If you’re experiencing regular issues with watery eyes and you wear glasses, it’s worth checking that they’re fitting properly. If your glasses aren’t sitting snugly and properly on your face, they’re likely to cause a build-up of tears that flow down your cheeks. If you’re experiencing this, it’s possible that your frames aren’t fitted properly, or that you’re wearing the wrong prescription. Alternatively, if you wear contact lenses, it’s worth checking with your optician that they’re the right fit. If they’re too loose or too tight, they may cause irritation and watery eyes. If you wear contact lenses and they regularly cause you discomfort, it may be worth getting new ones fitted professionally.
Find The Root Cause
If all of the above fail to help reduce your eye-watering, it’s worth investigating the cause further. This may help you find a solution more quickly, and it could also help you identify potential health issues that you might not have been aware of before. Some potential causes of watery eyes include allergies, blocked tear ducts, dry eye syndrome, sinusitis, vitamin deficiencies, or an issue with your thyroid gland. If you notice that your eye-watering persists or becomes more frequent, it’s a good idea to get it checked out by your doctor.
When we’re under stress, our eyes produce extra tears that flow down our cheeks. While this may seem like an inconvenience at first glance, this is actually a natural response that indicates that something in your body has triggered a reflexive reaction. These tears are produced by the lacrimal glands in the eye’s inner corners. The glands contain a large number of nerves that send signals to the central nervous system.