Why Do Our Eyes Water?
by Kayla Hollis, age 11
Have you ever been waiting in your kitchen for dinner while your mom is cutting up onions and suddenly, your eyes start to water? Or when you’re outside, and dirt gets in your eyes and again, your eyes start watering. The fact is that it’s not just crying that produces tears.
When your eyes start to water, it’s often because the water being made in your eyes is preventing bad germs from getting into your body. The water that comes out of your eyes is released from tear or lacrimal glands. Tear glands are located in your upper eyelid. When you cry, tears fall from the glands and out of your eyes.
When you are not crying and your eyes are just watering, a hole in the inner side of each eye helps drain some of the water that’s building up. Those holes are called tear ducts. Say it’s just a windy day and you get a big blast of cold wind. Your eyes start to water but if you blink a couple times, you are automatically making the tears drain down your tear ducts. That’s why when you’re crying really hard, your tears run down your face. Your tear ducts can only hold so much before they have to be released. Also, when you’re crying, you might start to notice that your nose starts to run. That’s because the tear ducts start from the corner of your eye and go all the way down to your nose, and maybe on through your nose and then out.
It may also happen that something like dust get in your eyes. When you start to blink the tears come to wash out whatever is in your eyes. And when your eyes get dried out, tears keep them moist.
Most people think that your eyes just water because they’re irritated. That’s true, but there are a lot of other reasons you produce tears. Maybe even some ways you wouldn’t expect.