The Role of Tears

What makes you cry? Whether you’re young or old, no matter where on earth you’re from, we can guess at one point in your life or another you’ve cried! We bet you didn’t know that depending on the type of cry—pain, emotion, cutting up a few onions for dinner—there is a difference in the chemical composition of your tears! In this blog, we’ll be discussing all kinds of tears and how they actually help protect your eyes.

Tears and Basic Eye Protection

When our eyes aren’t having a good cry, there is still a moist film on our eyes called the protective film of basal tears. This film is just around to keep our eyes nice and protected, and it’s composed of three layers: the mucous layer right against the cornea, the middle aqueous layer made mostly of saltwater, and the outer lipid layer that seals everything in and reduces evaporation. These three wonderful layers are a cleaning, protective and disinfection system that makes sure dust and debris stay out of our precious eyes.

Having a Good Cry

Whether or not we’re crying, the protective basal film on our eyes stays put. When we DO have a cry, they come in two different types of “leaks”—reflexive and emotional tears—both of which are actually good for you.

Reflex Tears

Reflex tears are very similar to basal tears, but we encounter these tears, for example, in situations like chopping onions. Even an occasional eyelash in our eyes will produce an excess of basal tears that result in reflex tears that keep everything balanced and clean in the eye.

Emotional Tears

Have you ever felt that clarity that comes after an emotional cry? Maybe stress or sadness has been overtaking your thoughts and emotions. Well, now it is known that crying actually rids the body of built-up chemicals released by the body during times of stress! Wow, crying has never been more important.

Let’s Keep the Tears Flowing!

You don’t want dry eyes, so don’t hesitate to keep the tears flowing!