Three Types of Tears

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What are the types of tears?

Did you know there are three different kinds of tears?

Ever wonder what tears are made of? Most people don’t think there would be a variety of tears, and don’t often consider tears to be different. In fact, there are three types of tears: basal tear, emotional tear, and reflex tear. All are produced by glands around the eye, and all are needed for good eye health. Read on to explore the three types of tears, and if you’re experiencing your own eye issues with producing tears, schedule an appointment at a Cleveland Eye Clinic location near you.

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. Your eyes are constantly shedding basal tears even though you may not notice. These tears protect the cornea, and constantly lubricate the eye. When you experience dust, follicles, or debris in your eyes, the tears that appear to clear your eyes are called Basal tears.

Emotional Tears

Maybe some of the most common/well-known types of 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 as well!

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.

If you’re experiencing issues with your tears, or want to talk with an eye doctor about your Dry Eye condition, Schedule an Appointment at the Cleveland Eye Clinic location near you. Our eye doctors are ready to assist you in finding the best eye care treatment available for your condition.


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