Tears are a common sign of sorrow or joy. Sometimes, however, they simply appear for no apparent reason. Eyes watering in the cold and wind can be one such uncommon moment for tears.
Tears act as a lubricant for the eyes. In the cold and the wind, the eyes dry out. The tears appear to lubricate those dry eyes.
Tears are made in the lacrimal gland located in the eyelids. When released, the tears cover the eye to protect it from dirt, dust, pollen and other irritants. The liquid or tears then drain down through the tear ducts. Excess tears spill over onto the face.
Excessive eye watering during wind and cold—more than a few stray tears—can mean a dry eye problem that is worsened by the wind and cold. Involuntary tearing indoors can also signal allergies, infection, or a dry eye issue.
A doctor treats excessive tearing by determining the underlying condition behind the dry eye. He or she can also examine the tear ducts for blockage that could cause the tears to leave the eye. Once found, this problem is easily treated by removing the blockage.
The wind and cold may only affect one eye. This is perfectly normal. See your doctor if the problem becomes more than a few tears while outside in winter.