Why Does One Eye Water At Night?

“Why does one eye water at night?”. There are actually a few different reasons why your one-eye (left or right) waters at night. One eye watering at night may be caused by environmental irritants, dust, or allergies. Other times, it might be caused by trauma, illness, or fatigue.

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Allergies May Cause One Eye To Water At Night

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If you are allergic to something in your environment, allergies may be to blame for your nighttime watery eye. Here are some allergen examples:

  • Dander
  • Down Pillows
  • Dust
  • Food Allergies
  • Mold
  • Pollen


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Dehydration can lead to dry eyes, and dry eyes can cause an increase in tear production, which can make your eye water. Staying hydrated throughout the day may solve your nighttime watery eye symptoms.

Dry Eye Syndrome

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Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a condition in which the eyes do not produce enough tears, or the tears are not of the correct consistency.

This can lead to a number of symptoms, including eye fatigue, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light. Talk with your medical provider if you suspect that you suffer from DES.

Eye Infection

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If you experience watery eyes at night, and allergies or a foreign object are not to blame, an infection might be the issue. This can include viral, bacterial, or fungal infections. Other symptoms may include redness in the eye, discharge from the eye, or itchiness around the eye.

Eye Trauma

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Eye trauma, such as a scratched cornea (corneal abrasion) or eye surgery, can cause your eyes to water during the night.

Your cornea is the clear protective layer of the eye. This protective layer can be damaged by foreign objects that scratch its surface.

For example, it is not uncommon for events like a dog wagging its tail and hitting you in the eye to cause a corneal abrasion.

Foreign Object In The Eye

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Your one watery eye at night may be due to a foreign object in your eye. A foreign object could be anything from dust to a contact lens. For a more complete list of possible causes, see below.

Foreign Objects In The Eye Examples

  • Dirt
  • Dust
  • Contact lens
  • Eye crusties/goobers
  • Eyelash
  • Hair
  • Makeup
  • Sawdust


A male and a female in pajamas yawning, with a text sign that states "tiredness"

Tiredness can cause one of your eyes to water. We tend to get tired at night, so simply being sleepy can cause your one eye to water. According to the Vision Eye Institute, there are at least 9 possible eye symptoms that can be linked to tiredness.

Too Much Screen Time

A woman holding her forehead like she has a tension headache. She is working on a laptop computer with a planner and cell phone on a table. Text across the image states "Screen Time"

Do you find yourself on your phone or computer more often at night, or even while laying in bed? This may be the reason for your nightly watery eyes.

Excessive screen time at night can cause your tired eyes to become even more fatigued. Try avoiding screens at least 30 minutes before bed and see if your symptoms resolve.

Your Bedtime Routine Can Cause One Eye To Water At Night

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Have you ever considered that the chemicals in your nightly skincare routine could be causing your eyes to water? Face washes, lotions, shampoos, and conditioners can all irritate the eyes if they get inside of them.

So reexamine your bedtime ritual-do you wash your face or shower before sleep? There might be trace amounts of these products making their way into your eyes and causing irritation.

When should you see a specialist about your eye-watering problem?

Many people experience occasional eye-watering, especially when they are tired or have been staring at a screen for too long. However, if you find that your eyes are watering more frequently or excessively, it may be time to see a medical specialist.

Read This Next:

20 Reasons For One Watery Eye

Why Does One Eye Water When I Have A Cold?

By Chris

Chris is the creator of Allergy Preventions. As an allergy sufferer himself, his vision is to help others find relief from allergies. By combining his 14 years of Public Health experience, personal experience, and his thirst for knowledge, he is dedicated to providing quality recommendations to assist families with allergy symptom relief.