Keep Them Flowing: Three Different Types of Tears

Close-up of teary-eyed person

While crying can make your eyes puffy and red, it doesn’t hurt your vision. It is interesting to know that it can actually be good for you, as it can help promote good eyesight, as well as protect your peepers from irritants.

You should know, however, that not all tears are created equal. Emotional ones or those caused by pain, sadness, or happiness, are different from those produced when chopping onions.

Experts from eye clinics in Maple Grove share some information about the different types of tears:

Basal Tears

These refer to the liquid constantly present in your eyes, even when you’re not crying. Basal tears keep the cornea nourished and keep the eyes comfortable. It has three layers: the mucus layer, the aqueous layer, and the lipid layer. These tears provide a lot of benefits as they lubricate the eyes, clean and disinfect them (by washing away debris), and keep your vision clear.

Reflex Tears

While these tears are like basal tears, they are caused by a response to another thing or external stimulus. They can be due to dust, tear gas, onion vapors, or pepper spray. They create a sudden increase in the production of basal tears, making your eyes water. They contain antibodies and are produced in more copious amounts, which help wash away harmful substances.

Emotional Tears

These tears are caused by pain, sadness, grief, or happiness. These are usually accompanied by other physical reactions such as interrupted breathing patterns and increased heart rate. Research suggests that emotional tears have natural painkillers and help release harmful chemicals, which can calm you down. This may also be the reason you feel less emotional or better afterwards.

Tears benefit your eyes, so it is good to have a good cry once in a while. If you, however, have eye problems like dry eyes accompanied with other symptoms, it is best to visit an eye clinic. This is to avoid additional complications and make sure that your vision is in great shape.