The Science behind Crying

Updated: Apr 8, 2021

Crying is not a sign that you are weak. Since birth it's been a sign that you are alive.

There are countless situations that can drive us to tears, from the happiest of moments to slicing onions on a table. We often think of tears as merely being tears, without much in the way of distinction between what makes each tear different from the others. One of the questions that have often been asked , is a tear just a tear? The answer, as it turns out, is no. Different tears shed for different reasons have different compositions, and why a tear is shed can sometimes be determined based on what they’re made of. Today we’ll explore the question, is a tear just a tear?

Tears produced through tiny, almond shaped glands located above the eye, help clear the eyes from debris and other irritants, as well as keep eyes moist and lubricated.


Some Facts About Crying

  • Tears are complex structures, and we owe much of our optical health to the hard work they perform. As an essential part of our eyes health, it pays to understand a little bit more about them than ‘they’re salty and wet’

  • Women cry more often than men. The reason behind this is probably due to hormonal levels. Women generally have more of a hormone called prolactin, which is thought to promote crying. Men, on the other hand, have higher levels of testosterone, a hormone that could make it more difficult to cry.

  • After shedding some tears,73% men and 85% women feel calm and happier.

  • “When a person cries and the first drop of tears comes from the right eye, it’s happiness. But when the first roll is from the left, it’s pain.

  • Emotional crying is a part of our human experience and most likely helps us bond and give each other emotional support. And no matter what eye condition you’re dealing with, taking care of your eyesight is of utmost importance.

  • When you cry, your body releases endorphins and oxytocin.

Tears are the words that heart can't express.

Types of Tears

1.Tears of Joy, Laughter, and Sorrow

Let’s start with what are technically referred to as ‘psychic tears’. Emotional tears, also known as psychic tears, are a part of the human condition. We cry not just because we’re sad. We cry when we’re full of joy, when we’re relieved, when we’re angry, or when we’re surprised. Emotional tears have a different chemical composition. Emotional tears has higher concentrations of protein-based hormones, including prolactin, as well as the neurotransmitter leucine enkephalin–a painkiller produced when one experiences stress. Comparatively, the tears we make when we are chopping onions are less viscous or sticky. So emotional tears will stay on a person’s face longer, meaning that they would be more visible to people.

Emotional tears help humans communicate and socially bond with each other.

2.You’ve Got To Keep It Hydrated

Basal tears are those that are produced with the purpose of keeping our eyes lubricated and free from irritation. When these tears are shed they’re simply ensuring that your eyes don’t dry out, and that means that they’re constantly being shed to combat the dehydrating effect of air.

3.Tears Released By Reflex

Reflex tears emerge to wash away smoke, dust, and anything else that might irritate your eyes. Reflex tears are those shed to help combat airborne irritants like onions, tear gas, or particularly perfume. When you’ve smelled something truly awful and it makes your eyes tear up, when the air is thick with smoke and tears stream down your face, or when you’re cutting onions, it’s all reflex tears that you are shedding. These tears are also distinctly different from the other two, having their own composition that helps with protecting the eyes and washing out irritants.

4.To relieve pain

The sudden shock of intense pain might bring a few tears to your eyes.

This type of lingering pain might come from:

  • migraine

  • kidney stones

  • broken bones

  • an abscessed tooth

  • chronic pain conditions

  • endometriosis

  • childbirth



Benefits of crying

People may try to suppress tears if they see them as a sign of weakness, but science suggests that doing so could mean missing out on a range of benefits. Researchers have found that crying:

1. Has a soothing effect

  • regulate their own emotions

  • calm themselves

  • reduce their own distress

2. Gets support from others

As well as helping people self-soothe, crying can help people get support from others around them.

3. Helps to relieve pain

The chemicals make people feel good and may also ease both physical and emotional pain. In this way, crying can help reduce pain and promote a sense of well-being.

4. Enhances mood

Crying may help lift people’s spirits and make them feel better. As well as relieving pain, oxytocin and endorphins can help improve mood. This is why they are often known as “feel good” chemicals.

5,Reduces stress

When humans cry in response to stress, their tears contain a number of stress hormones and other chemicals. Researchers believe that crying could reduce the levels of these chemicals in the body, which could, in turn, reduce stress.

6. Aids sleep

Crying can help babies sleep better. It follows that the calming, mood-enhancing, and pain-relieving effects of crying above may help a person fall asleep more easily.

7. Fights bacteria

Crying helps to kill bacteria and keep the eyes clean as tears contain a fluid called lysozyme.

8. Improves vision

Basal tears, which are released every time a person blinks, help to keep the eyes moist and prevent mucous membranes from drying out.


It's okay to cry, the sky does it too.

Hope you find this article informative .Stay tuned, Stay safe .

Thank you!!!

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