We tend to only think of tears when something makes us shout, whether we are watching a touching or tragic movie or we’re laughing so hard that our eyes water.
However, tears are the unsung heroes of eye health. They come in different types and there is more to them than simply water, so let’s have a closer look!
Tears Protect Our Eyes
Each day, every day, our tears are protecting our eyes. The tear film is the barrier between the vulnerable surface of the eye and all sorts of germs, allergens, and irritants in the atmosphere. It is composed of 3 layers:
- l a mucous layer that lies right on the cornea;
- l an outermost coating that’s mostly made from salt water, and;
- l an outer oily layer that keeps the additional layers from evaporating.
These three layers work together to maintain our eyes peeled, clean, and free of harmful germs. With each blink, tears wash debris out of our eyes and assist our vision to stay comfortable and clear. Meaning that while we sleep, the gunk isn’t getting cleared out, which explains the reason why we have that traction in the corners of our eyes when we wake.
Tear Generation And Drainage
The tear film is continually being refreshed so that it could do its job properly. Glands in our eyelids continuously create new tears, and ducts in the interior corners of our eyes drain away down excess tears to our noses. So if you’ve ever wondered why crying makes your nose runny, now you understand the answer!
Tears Help Us Feel Better
The tears in the aqueous layer of the tear film are basal tears, but when we shout, the tears are released in two distinctive manners: reflex tears and emotional tears. As the tear film, these tears are great for all of us. Reflex tears are essentially just an escape of basal tears whenever our eyes need to flush out something, like when we get something in our eyes or when someone’s chopping onions in the same area.
Have you ever noticed that when you cry, even though the act of crying itself does not change your position, you still feel a little better afterward? The cause of this is that psychological tears clear out a few of the chemicals that build up because of anxiety. As soon as we cry for psychological reasons, we are purging harmful compounds and triggering hormones to regulate pain, so be sure that you’re indulging in a good cry now and then!
Tears Versus Dry Eye
Dry eye occurs when something goes wrong with normal tear production, and it results in numerous difficulties and leaves the eyes quite uneasy. It becomes more common with age and is often a side effect of drugs. If you are experiencing dry eye, come visit us so we can help you get those tears flowing like they ought to be!
We get a little teary just thinking about just how much we love our patients!
Read More: Dry Eye Symptoms | What You Need To Know