Why Is One Eye Tearing Up?

Why Is One Eye Tearing Up?

Crying From One Eye - Causes And Treatment

Tearing is a healthy and essential function of the eye. Tears are comprised of water, oil, and antibodies. They come from the tear gland, called the Lacrimal Gland, which is located above the outer eye. It is vital to release tears from our eyes when we are emotional, laughing, coughing, vomiting, experiencing intense taste sensations, or yawning. Tears are generally discharged through your tear ducts and then evaporate.

Tears serve various functions in our body. They help in keeping our eyes lubricated and help to wash away foreign particles and dust. They act as one of the components of the immune system to protect you against infection.

What Does Crying from One Eye Mean?

Crying from one eye only generally suggests a different list of possible causes. One-sided tearing arises due to overproduction or impaired drainage of tears in the affected eye. There is a possibility of a variety of conditions that can cause this symptom.

Causes Of Tearing From One-Eye

Medical evaluation is required to accurately determine the cause and best treatment of why is one eye tearing up

1. Eyeball Scratch or Foreign Body

Getting some dust particle or foreign body leads to tearing from one eye. It can cause a scratch on the eyeball surface that further gives rise to associated discomfort, watering, and redness in the eye. A superficial eyeball scratch in medical language is also known as a corneal abrasion. An accidental poke in the eye or wearing dirty or torn contact lenses continue to make you feel as if there is something stuck in your eye.

2. Blocked Tear Drainage

Continuous, one-sided eye tearing often signals a blockage somewhere in the tear drainage system; this eye condition is also known as the nasolacrimal drainage system. Various other conditions can also cause such a blockage, including

  • Infection with strep bacteria
  • Age-based constriction of the tear ducts
  • Blocked tear duct openings due to debris from eyelid flaking or cosmetics
  • Nasolacrimal tumors
  • A nasolacrimal stone
  • Eye, eyelid, or facial trauma

3. Eyelid Conditions

Various eyelid conditions cause crying out of one eye only. The oil gland in the upper or lower eyelid, whether it is infectious or non-infectious blockage gives rise to a tender eye lump on the eyelid. It is known as hordeolum or stye, accompanied by tearing up to some extent.

Unusual inward or outward rotation of the upper or lower eyelid disrupts the balance between tear production and drainage leading to tearing from one-eye. Conditions affecting only one eye include

  • Bell Palsy is a situation that causes temporary weakness on one side of the face, also denoted as paralysis.
  • A stroke that causes paralysis.
  • Scarring from past eyelid injury or surgery.
  • A non-cancerous, pre-cancerous, or cancerous eyelid growth.

4. Conjunctivitis

If a person has an eye infection, commonly known as pinkeye, there is a chance that he might be experiencing tearing in one eye. Some people may need eye drops, to help resolve the infection and treat the symptoms. In most of the cases, the condition of Conjunctivitis gets resolved by itself. Some people provide relief to the eye by using cool compresses on the eyes. Pay attention and take care not to contaminate the uninfected eye.

Considerations And Precautions To Cure One-Tearing Eye

People who suffer from migraines sometimes experience tearing from one eye only. Eye tearing can also take place with various other symptoms with shingles that affects the eye, a sight-threatening condition. Consult your doctor for any inexplicable and persistent crying from one eye. It is vital to seek emergency treatment in case a cleaner or other chemical accidentally splashes into your eye. Following are the additional warning signs

  • Sudden weakness of the facial muscles on one side of your face.
  • Severe or worsening pain in the eye.
  • Sudden change in your vision.
  • Burning, tingling, itchiness, or an unexpected rash on one side of your forehead or surrounding one eye.

How Tearing From One Eye Can Be Treated?

Your doctor performs an eye check-up to determine if fluid can pass through the tear ducts. Remedies for watery eyes include

  • Eye drops prescription
  • Treating allergies that make your eyes watery or tearing from one eye
  • Antibiotics to treat an eye infection
  • A warm, wet towel placed on your eyes several times a day, which can help with treating blocked tear ducts
  • A surgical procedure to treat and clear blocked tear ducts
  • Surgery to repair or create a new tear drainage system, which is also termed as dacryocystorhinostomy.


Most cases of crying from one eye aren't severe and are cured without any treatment. Further cure and prevention of one eye tearing up is in our hands.