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Posted by on Sep 4, 2015 in Tell Me Why |

Where Do Tears Come From?

Where Do Tears Come From?

Tears flow from glands under the eyelid. Even though we are not aware of it, there are tears in our eyes all the time – even when we’re not crying. Every time we blink, our eyelids bring down drops of tears.

We need to keep our eyes constantly moist and lubricated; so that dust and dirt that gets into them can be removed quickly before they damage the surface of the eye.

The tears wash our eyes and help to keep them clean and healthy. After the tears have washed our eyes, they run down tiny, openings in the corner of the eyes and into the nose.

Besides protecting your eyes, the tear glands produce more fluid when your eyes are irritated. These extra tears are called reflex or irritant tears.

And, when something makes you happy or sad, your tear glands will produce emotional tears. Tears drain down into two tiny openings on the brim of your upper and lower eyelids at the inner edge of your eyes, which lead to the nasolacrimal tear ducts next to the bridge of your nose.

Usually, we don’t notice this at all. But when we cry, muscles around the tear glands squeeze out the tear fluid, and all this extra water makes our noses run.

From there, they are channeled into your nasal cavity where they are swallowed or blown out with other nasal fluids. If there are too many tears, they will overflow your lower lid and run down your cheeks – this is what happens when we cry!

Content for this question contributed by Margo Gamelli, resident of West Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, USA