Three Types of Tears

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Did you know there are three different kinds of tears?

They are called the basal tear, the emotional tear, and the reflex tear. All are produced by glands around the eye and all are needed for good eye health.

Basal Tears

This tear is more complex, having three different layers. These layers coat the eye, supply nutrients to the outer structures of the eye and protect the eye from drying out.

Emotional Tears

These are the tears made when one is overcome with emotion. Scientists have found traces of stress chemicals that could mean that crying is a way of relieving stress. Additionally, some studies suggest that crying stimulates the body to produce endorphins which are known to be the feel-good chemical produced by the brain. Interestingly, humans are the only creatures known to produce emotional tears, though it is possible elephants and gorillas do also.

Reflex Tears

This type of tear is made in the lacrimal gland and is made up mostly of water. The body makes these tears as a reflex to a stimulus. For example: if a bug flies into your eye the eye tears to flush out the bug. Sometimes the eyes water and there isn’t anything in the eye to flush out. This can be related to Dry Eye Syndrome.

Jill Pullman C.O.T.

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