Facts about tears

We found 13 facts about tears

Multipurpose liquid

Associated with emotions, tears are a product of lacrimal glands, found in the eyes of most terrestrial vertebrates. Although their primary function is to moisten the eyeball and prevent or fight possible infection, tears accompany mammals on various occasions, allowing them to ease tension, express sadness, or communicate emotions, such as joy or anger.

The human eye produces up to about 115 liters of tears annually.
There are three types of tears.
They are:
  • Basal tears (protecting and nourishing cornea)
  • Reflex tears (glands' reaction to irritating compounds, like smoke)
  • Emotional tears (produced in response to various emotional states)
Basal tears production drops with age.
Especially common for women, it is a result of hormonal changes after menopause.
Tears are made up of three layers.
  • Oily layer–smoothens the tear’s surface and prevents evaporation of other layers
  • Mucous layer–allows teras to stick to the eye
  • Aqueous layer–acts as a protector of the cornea and lubricates the eyeball
Tears are primarily made of water.
They also consist of fatty oils, salt, and proteins.
Tears are distributed evenly by blinking.
The frequency of crying depends on human nature.
There is no equation to calculate how often people cry. It depends on various factors, such as emotional maturity, empathy, anxiety, and sensibility. People may cry in response to visual or sound experiences as often as in response to the suffering of others.
Crying may help release tension.
Scientists distinguish “good” and “bad” patterns. They suggest that support from other people during or after a “good” cry can ease the tension and make us feel much better while suppressing emotions or crying with feelings of guilt or shame can make us feel worse than before.
Watery eyes may be a signal of dry eye syndrome.
Dry eye syndrome is caused by insufficient quantity or quality of tears, which prevents the proper lubrication of eyeballs. It causes excessive watering of the eyes, as a response to the irritation.
Babies can cry for up to three hours a day.
It is their way of communicating their needs, such as hunger, tiredness, or discomfort.
Humans are the only animals able to shed emotional tears.
Despite various studies, no evidence to the contrary has yet been announced.
Insincere or inauthentic regret is called “crocodile tears.”
The term derived from a belief that crocodiles cry to lure and devour their prey. It is untrue, however, since crocodiles shed tears to lubricate their eyes while spending too much time outside the water.
An excessive amount of tears often called pathological crying or laughing, may be an indication of a brain disease or Alzheimer’s disease.
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