Real Men (and Women) Cry: How Tears Are Actually Good for Your Eyes
My eight-year-old son has recently started doing something that I find rather interesting. He gets a very serious face and then says, “Mom, my eyes are filling with water.” He won’t call it crying, though sometimes it happens when he’s upset. Other times, I think his tears are a result of allergies, and the watering starts, and he doesn’t know how to make it stop.
I decided to do a little research on his “eye filling” tendencies and apparently it’s rather healthy for this to happen. Tears are our body’s natural way to keep our eyes clean and free of debris and bacteria. Every time we cry or have a tearing-up response, we are doing our eyes quite the favor.
Most people don’t even realize just how beneficial to our health those tears are in fact. Every single time you close your eyes to blink, you are giving those eyeballs a quick shower of tears. The glands in your eyelids produce just enough liquid to keep your eyes moist and comfortable. This is why excessive time staring at a screen can dry your eyes out in a flash. Often when we are staring at our phones or computers we forget to blink and give our eyes that mini refresh. And especially for us contact lens wearers, crying is better than saline!
In fact, if you’ve ever experienced dry eyes, you know how painful the absence of tears can be. Your tears are nature’s best medicine for all your eye irritations and even inflammation. Tears also drain your eyes of gunk through those tear ducts. This is why sometimes you’ll find more goo in the corner of your eyes than other times.
There are certain conditions where the eyes water too much, but these are rare. Sometimes, a tear duct can be blocked and inhibit the normal drainage of tears. Other times, overly watery eyes can be related to a problem with eyelid function and the ways the eyelids work to close and encourage this drainage. Both of these conditions are treatable and should be brought to the attention of your America’s Best optometrist immediately.
Next time you find your eyes filling, don’t try to stop it! Instead, remember that crying – be it full blown sobbing or a simple watering – are both activities that every man (and woman) should embrace. Your eye health depends on those tears, so let them flow!