Why Do Tears Burn My Face?

I’ve been wondering of late why tears burn my face when I cry. The question has occurred to me before.

Grieving Charlie means tears are frequent and intense.

Purple morning glory flowers that spread like weeds in my patio garden

Why Do Tears Burn My Face When I Tear Up or Cry?

Tears burn your eyes and face due to the saltiness, which is much like other bodily fluids.

Tears nourish the eyes and help us relieve stress. The body releases toxic and stressful chemicals through tears. This is why we often feel more relaxed after a good cry.

Did you know that, according to the American Academy Of Ophthalmology, the average person produces between 15 and 30 gallons of tears every year?

There Is More Than One Type Of Tear:

Tears are essential to help you see clearly and to maintain the health of your eyes.

The body makes three types of tears.

Light purple petunias in my patio container garden
  • Basal tears are in your eyes all the time to lubricate, nourish and protect your cornea. Basal tears act as a constant shield between the eye and the rest of the world, keeping dirt and debris away.

  • Reflex tears are formed when your eyes need to wash away harmful irritants, such as smoke, foreign bodies or onion fumes. Your eyes release them in larger amounts than basal tears, and they may contain more antibodies to help fight bacteria.

  • Emotional tears are produced in response to joy, sadness and fear, as well as other emotional states. Some scientists have proposed that emotional tears contain additional hormones and proteins as well as natural pain killers.

Crying for emotional reasons makes you feel better, releases tension, and gives you a psychic reboot.

Purple alliums in a container in my patio garden

What Are Tears Made Up Of:

Your tears are mostly composed of water. Tears have a similar structure to saliva.

Women Cry More Than Men:

While crying frequency varies significantly across individuals, research shows that it’s well established that women cry about three to four times more frequently than men.

And when they do cry it tends to be more intense.

Do you have other questions about tears?


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  1. I totally get it….. I’ve shed many a tear over that little fur baby of mine when she passed……. she was really like a member of the family……
    this whole post was very interesting! 🙂

  2. I think it’s hard to allow ourselves to cry as adults. Especially in front of others, even those to whom we are closest. Little children cry so spontaneously until they are taught not to, told that they are too old to cry. I think as adults we often feel that we must do something to “fix” whatever it is that is causing another person cry and usually we have no idea how to do so. We need to remember that it’s not our job to fix anything but just to be present–with the other person–child or adult–and even with ourselves when we cry. That sometimes crying itself can be partly or even entirely the fix and the person just needs to be allowed to “cry it out”. I wish crying was more openly acceptable in our culture; I think we would all be healthier as well as happier, too.

  3. I had a friend that I hung around in school with and her Mom held back her emotions and tears that she actually got sick from it! My friend did the same as her Mom and had a nervous breakdown I heard! So sad!
    I use to hold my tears back so someone wouldn’t get the satisfaction to try to make me cry in front of them! When I got home and was all alone then the tears would start flowing though!
    I know it’s hard Brenda to loose someone whether it’s a person or a pet, but always remember they will stay in your heart forever! Everybody needs a good cry now and then or they could end up sick holding it in!

    1. I do, too. Then it makes me made that I started crying, which makes me cry harder. Lol Go figure.

    2. Wow! It’s been a rough day but boy did I screw up my reply to you. Can’t find how to correct it. At least I’m not mad LOL, just embarrassed.

  4. I love this info about tears. And these flower pictures today are breathtaking! Thank you, Brenda. I look forward to your emails and pictures every day.

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