Tears, Tears, Tears
Here is an overview of what they are and what they do:
- These are our normal, everyday, multifunctional tears. They help lubricate and nourish our front surface of the eyes, fight off infections (contains “fighting” cells), and act as a refractive media.
- These tend to have a unique balance of oil, water, and mucin (helps stabilizes the tear layer evenly over the eye surface)
- These are our “emergency” tears that quickly react to something foreign on the eye. Irritants like onions or dust cause the lacrimal gland to open the flood gates to wash out the irritants.
- It may be weird to think why us eye doctors say you have dry eyes when you are constantly tearing. When the surface is dry like the desert, it is irritating thus the opening of the flood gates. To dig a little deeper, if your eyes are dry, the inner eyelid “scrapes” the surface of the eye like a sandpaper. These tears acts like a cushion and decreases the shearing forces between the lid and eye surface.
- These tears tend to be more watery and less viscous.
- These are due to emotional triggers like sadness, grief, joy, or even anger. The reason behind these tears are still unknown to its full extent. Some researchers believe it is a kind of signal or a way of communication to someone that’s close to us. Close enough to see the tears pooling in our eyes.
- These tears contain an abundance of hormones which our bodies want out. These hormones may be the “sad” or “angry” hormones. Which may explain why we feel better after a crying session. If you think about it, don’t you feel better afterwards? “I’m ok..I don’t know what came over me!”
As we age, our ability to produce tears let alone maintaining the perfect balance of the tear composition decreases. With the prolong use of digital devices, contact lens abuse, and lack of proper health our tear system are overworked and shut down prematurely. It is vital to preserve and maintain our tears NOW while we can before it is too late.
- Harder to lose the weight than to gain
- Harder to bring the grade UP (D to A) than down (A to D)
- Harder to pay off credit card debt than racking it up
I always tell my patients, friends, and family that “It is easier and cheaper to prevent than to treat“.
If you are interested in maintaining a good healthy tear system, contact us at Eyes On Norbeck or your eye doctor to discuss the best options for you!
Dr. Chun AuYeung