TEARS well up in people’s eyes for a slew of reasons. We can cry out of sadness, fear, frustration, anger, or even joy. But why do streams of liquid leave our eyes? For the most part, tears help maintain healthy eyes. For instance, basal tears flow continuously from the
lacrimal glands, or the tiny almond-shaped structure in the inside corner of the eye. When you blink, basal tears clean and lubricate the eyes. This makes the eyes’ outer surface smooth, and helps you to see clearly.
Emotions can also trigger tears in humans. These emotional tears (also called psychic tears) can serve as a means of nonverbal communication.
The part of the brain that switches on the “tear fountain” receives signals from the part of your brain that controls your emotions. When this happens, the eye can produce more than half a cup of tears in minutes. This is way too much for the eye to hold and our
drainage system goes to work. Remember that this drainage system goes to our noses? That’s why when you cry you may notice your nose starts running. These are the extra tears.
We haven’t figured out exactly why we cry when we are emotional, but we do know that the chemicals found in emotional tears are different to normal tears. Some scientists believe that these chemicals may help us feel better after we cry.