Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

Everyone starts life with that first cry. As you grow up, you still produce about five to ten ounces of tears a day, even if you never or rarely cry. Here are some other tidbits of information about your eyes and why they produce tears.

hand cupping pool water

Tears Have Layers

The film of tears on the eye is a complex system, consisting of three layers—oil, water and mucus. The water layer is the thickest and contains electrolytes (such as sodium and potassium), proteins (mostly enzymes), glucose and other substances. Various fats in the outer oil layer slow evaporation. But the specific composition of tears may change day to day and depend on your general health and other conditions.

 

little girl crying, tears

Where Tears Go

Tears are produced mostly by the lacrimal glands located just above the outer corner of each eye; blinking spreads the tears across the eye surface. Tears drain into the tiny openings in the eyelids, called puncta (one on the inside corner of each lid), and then through ducts to the nasal cavity, where you either swallow them or they become part of nasal fluid—which is why you also get stuffy when you cry. If production of tears outpaces drainage, the excess will spill from the lower eyelids, as when you cry.

 

close up of eye with eye drops

We Need Tears

Besides lubricating the eye and flushing away debris, tears serve the same purpose in the eye that blood does elsewhere in the body, delivering oxygen and nutrients and removing waste products. Tears also improve the image that forms on the retina by smoothing any irregularities on the surface of the eyeball—that’s why people with dry eye may have blurry vision. Tears are a defense mechanism as well: their antibodies, enzymes and other immune components help protect eyes against microorganisms.

 

pretty young woman staring ahead on a windy day

Types of Tears

There are three types of tears. Continuous (or basal) tears are produced for basic eye function, such as lubrication. Reflex (or irritant) tears occur when the eye is exposed to excessive light, cold, wind, a foreign body or irritating gas (as from cut onions). Psychogenic tears are shed for emotional reasons.

 

little boy crying

Crying is a way to communicate needs and elicit attention from others, at least in early life, and may be a means of releasing emotional tension. According to research from the 1980s, psychogenic tears differ in composition from other tears, and it’s theorized that crying may be a way to rid the body of stress-related chemicals. Boys and girls cry in equal frequency; women reportedly cry more than men. But how people express emotions, in general, depends largely on cultural and psychological factors.

 

elephant eye

All vertebrates (animals with backbones) that spend time on land have continuous tears and perhaps reflex tears. Humans are the only animals that seem to cry for emotional reasons, though there are reports of elephants shedding tears in grief.

 

whole yellow onion

The Onion Issue

When cut, onions release an enzyme that causes the formation of an airborne chemical that irritates the eyes. New Zealand researchers have produced a tearless onion by inhibiting the gene that makes this enzyme, though it’s not commercially available.

 

woman squinting in the sun

Are Your Eyes Dry?

If tear production declines or tears evaporate too quickly, the result is dry eye. Inflammation may play a role. Besides causing burning or grittiness, dry eye syndrome can cause blurry vision and potentially damage the eye. Paradoxically, another symptom may be excessive tearing. Women, especially at menopause, and older people are at higher risk. Other contributors: environmental conditions (low humidity, wind, smoke, dust), certain medications (such as diuretics, antidepressants and antihistamines), some diseases (including Parkinson’s and diabetes), smoking and LASIK surgery. If artificial tears don’t help enough, see your doctor.

By Berkeley Wellness,  University of  California

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!  

We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination. 

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

Member International Health Coach Association

ring ~ 770-393-1284

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