How to relieve dry or watery eyes at night 

Woman smiling while removing makeup with a facial wipe

After spending a significant portion of your waking moments staring at one screen or another, it’s no surprise you might end up with watery eyes at night. While it’s tempting to squint through the unintentional waterworks while you polish off one last email, when your eyes get watery at night, it’s important to give them – and yourself! – a break. So, if you’re wondering: ‘why are my eyes watery at night?’ You’re in the right place. Discover potential causes and triggers for watery eyes, easy ways to relieve your eyes, and tips on how to help them feel more comfortable! 

‘Why are my eyes watery at night?’

To know how best to relieve the symptoms, it’s worth considering why your eyes get itchy and watery at night.

  • Do you spend a lot of time looking at screens in the evening?
  • Do you wear your contact lenses right up until shut-eye time?
  • Do you sleep in an air-conditioned or centrally heated room?
  • Are you in smoky or dusty places close to bedtime?

Watery eyes at night

Whether you’re experiencing dry or watery eyes at night, they can be due to the same reason. If the glands in your eyelids aren’t functioning properly, they might not secrete the oily substance that slows down the evaporation of your tears between blinking. That can cause dry patches on your eyes, and extra tears are produced as a reflex.  

When you’re experiencing watery eyes at night, it’s important to reduce screen-time during the day. Why not walk over lunch? (You know, the hour in the middle of the day when you’re supposed to take a break...) Luckily for you, it's easy to enjoy a little screen-time break, thanks to Cushelle's Quilted toilet paper which offers a soft and skin-loving clean* every time – for the indulgent and relaxing bathroom break that you deserve.

How to help eye tearing at night 

When your eyes get watery at night there are several things you can do to help relieve the symptoms, and let you get back to those precious zzz’s: 

  • Clean your eyes carefully before bed.
  • Use a humidifier to stop the air in the bedroom getting dry.
  • Get plenty of sleep to rest your eyes.
  • Avoid looking at screens late at night.
  • Remove your contact lenses well before bedtime.
  • Avoid heated or air-conditioned rooms.
  • Avoid smoky, dry, dusty places.

Eye washing to help relieve watery eyes at night time 

When you’ve just got home from a day of work, removing any makeup and cleansing your skin might drop to the bottom of the “Evening Chores List” behind cooking dinner and folding this morning’s laundry load. But leaving your makeup on for too long could irritate your skin, making your eyes itchy and watery at night. 

So, remove all makeup before going to bed, and then gently wash your closed eyelids with cool or lukewarm water. Use a gentle massaging motion with your fingertips around the area. You can then apply a warm compress to help soothe your eyes.  

Eye tearing at night: have your eyes swollen overnight? 

Unless you’ve spent the entire night crying over the ending of ‘The Notebook’ (we don’t blame you), when your eyes are watering a lot and you’ve developed swollen lids overnight, you could be reacting to an allergen. This could be because of something in your bedroom, or something you place on your eyes, like cosmetics or perfumed cream. Dust mites, mould and pet dander are common indoor allergens, so give your bedroom a thorough clean to remove any possible traces of potential allergens. 

To prevent swollen eyes, make sure to clean your eyes thoroughly both before you go to bed and when you get up in the morning. And if you find that you’re experiencing some headaches because of your swollen eyes, don’t be afraid to take a break, and have that little lie down you deserve! 

Watery eyes with swollen lids over night could be caused by an allergy, either to something in your bedroom, or to something you place on your eyes, like cosmetics or perfumed cream. Dust mites, mould and pet dander are common indoor allergens, so give your bedroom a thorough clean to remove any possible traces of potential allergens.

As eyelid inflammation or blepharitis, can also be caused by a bacterial infection, make sure you seek the advice of a medical professional if the inflammation is severe, or doesn’t get better with home remedies. 

When to speak to a medical professional for eye tearing at night 

Contact your doctor or optician if you experience any pain, tenderness or discharge, or if your eyes are persistently red. 

Now that you know some of the reasons why you experience watery eyes at nighttime, and what you need to do to relieve your symptoms, you can take action to soothe the area and get that good night’s sleep you’re craving! And if you find yourself with watery eyes and a cough at night, discover how to relieve your sore watery eyes when you’ve got a cold!  

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