A wide range of conditions affecting the eye can cause an excessive production of tears, from acute glaucoma to a corneal abscess, but these do not usually present as a watering eye because the other symptoms, such as pain or visual loss, are more evident to the patient. Occasionally the unwary doctor can be caught out by an irritative lesion on the cornea, which mimics the more commonplace lacrimal obstruction. For example, a small corneal foreign body or an ingrowing eyelash can present in this way. Not uncommonly, a loose lash may float into the lower lacrimal canaliculus where it might become lodged, causing chronic irritation at the inner canthus. Its removal after weeks of discomfort produces instant relief and gratitude.
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