Accent Eye Care How Tears affect the Eyes

Tears in the eyes in response to pain, physical irritation on the eye, or an emotional reaction. Tears are mostly made up of water but also containing salt and proteins. Electrolytes (body minerals with electric charge) found on tears include sodium, bicarbonate, chloride, potassium, magnesium and calcium.

These electrolytes make up the layers of the tears. First layer is the mucous layer which attaches the tear to the eye. Second layer is the aqueous layer which keeps the moist of the eye thus protecting the cornea and keeping away bacteria. Third layer is the oily layer which prevents the other layers from evaporating and also keeps the tear’s surface smooth and clear so we can still see through it.

Did you know that there are three types of tears? First type of tear is what we call the basal tears which lubricate our eyes to protect it from foreign objects such as dust.

Second type of tears is the reflex tears which occur when our eyes are irritated by external factors such as fumes and smoke. Chopping onions also cause us to cry due to the gas reaction called Syn-propanethial-S-oxide which occurs when sulfur in the ground where onions grow mix with the onion enzymes. The gas protects onions to keep away insects trying to eat them. Thus, our eyes protect us against this gas by producing tears.

Third type of tears is the emotional tears which contain additional proteins and hormones that aren’t found on basal and reflex tears. Emotional tears have relaxing and pain-relieving effects.

Some people experience watery eyes which is beyond normal and this is because of the eye’s response to a condition called Dry Eye Syndrome. It occurs when the quantity or quality of tears is low enough to not be able to lubricate the eyes properly.

Dry Eye Syndrome cause our eyes to feel scratchy, discomfort, heavy and aching. Here at Accent Eye Care, we offer available treatments, prescribed eye drops, and nutritional supplements for this condition.