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Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in Tell Me Why |

Why Do Our Noses Run When We Cry?

Why Do Our Noses Run When We Cry?

When a person cries, tears make the nose run. Glands under our upper eyelids are producing tears all the time. These tears are essential for keeping our eyes from drying out. Tears also wash away dirt. After the tears wash our eyes, they run down tiny openings at the inner corners of the eyes and into the nose.

The amount of fluid is so small that we usually don’t notice it. But when we feel weepy and start to cry, muscles in our eyelids tighten and squeeze out so much of the salty fluid from the tear glands that it causes the nose to run.

If your nose is running, apart from crying there are several other possible explanations:

You have a cold or the flu: When you have either one of these, your nose goes into mucus-making overdrive to keep the germ invaders out of your lungs and the rest of your body, where they might make you even sicker than you already are.

The mucus runs down your throat, out your nose, or into a tissue when you blow your nose. Or it can fill your sinuses, which is why you get that stuffy feeling.

You have allergies: Kids who have allergies get runny noses when they’re around the thing they’re allergic to (like pollen or animal hair). That’s because their bodies react to these things like they’re germs.

Its cold outside: When you’re outside on a cold day, your nose tries its best to warm up the cold air you breathe before sending it to the lungs. Tiny blood vessels inside your nostrils open wider (dilate), helping to warm up that air. But that extra blood flow leads to more mucus production.

Content for this question contributed by Nicole Richardson, resident of Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida, USA