Eyes are amazing things, so we need to protect them. You make tears every time you blink. When you blink, they spread out in a thin film over your eyeballs. Tears are made in tear glands on your upper eyelids. They flow into your eyes through tiny tear ducts and help to keep your eyes free things that could irritate them, like dust.
Even if you’re asleep, tears are still being produced! They have a tiny bit of salt in them, which is antiseptic and helps to prevent eye infections. Used tears go down two tiny holes in your upper and lower eyelids to the back of your nose, where they are swallowed or blown out when you blow your nose.
If something gets in your eye and irritates it, your tear glands make more tears to try and flush the irritant away. These are reflex tears. If something makes you sad or extra happy, your tear glands produce emotional tears. If you produce lots of them they can’t all drain into your nasal cavity, so they overflow and run down your cheeks.
Essential for keeping our eyes clean and clear, our tear ducts help with the management of fluid. Should these become blocked, the eye will not clear easily and blockage and possibly even infection may follow. This is why it is very important to have regular eye exams that will highlight any potential problems with the overall operation of the eyes.
Next time you find yourself forming tears for any reason – stop and think about why they are there and what purpose they have in the cleaning, lubrication and proper functioning of your eyes and eyesight.