I’ve been wondering lately why tears burn my face when I cry.
Grieving the loss of Charlie means that my tears are frequent and intense right now.
Why Do My Tears Burn When I Cry?
When you cry you may feel a burning sensation. This is because saltwater hits your face. And because tears are salty and salt is drying, it makes your face sting.
Tear production nourishes the eyes and help us relieve stress. The body also releases irritants and stressful chemicals through our tears.
Often we will feel more relaxed after a good cry, although we may experience dry eyes and/or our eyes burn.
There Is More Than One Type Of Tear:
Tears are essential to help you see clearly and to maintain the health of your eyes. There are 3 forms of tear production:
- 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.
If you’re exposed to smoke or other irritants, your lacrimal glands will produce tears called reflex tears to help get rid of these invaders.
Reflex tears also have antibodies to get rid of potentially harmful bacteria. Depending on the irritant being removed, you may experience burning and stinging with reflex tears.
Tears are constantly produced to keep our eyes moist. They are also necessary for our eyes to function properly as well as to see clearly.
Did you know that, according to the American Academy Of Ophthalmology, the average person produces between 15 and 30 gallons of tears every year?
What Does Crying Do To Your Skin:
The production and shedding of tears has an affect on your entire face.
When you cry, the blood vessels around your eyes, face and nose become dilated with increased blood flow. This can then lead to swelling, puffiness, and redness.
It is recommended that you wash your face with cold water, or maybe apply a cold compress to your eyelids if your skin feels irritated after crying.
Because crying dehydrates you through lost electrolytes, you should also drink more water.
You could also use a moisturizer with squalene, ceramides, or hyaluronic acid to hydrate skin and reduce irritation.
Dry Eyes Due To Crying:
Sometimes we have symptoms of dry eyes after a bout of crying.
Many people, me included, use over the counter artificial tears in the form of eye drops due to eye irritation. Dry eyes can also be due to the medications you take.
Antihistamines might work if dry eye or watery eye is due to an allergy to pets or an environmental irritant.
Sometimes your face will also itch when you cry. This is because of the salt content in your tears.
Where Are Tears In Your Eyes Produced:
Tears are produced by the lacrimal glands which are located inside the upper eyelids.
When we blink, tears spread over the entire surface of the eye. Tears are mostly composed of water and have a similar structure to saliva.
The tear then drains into the nasal cavity through the tear ducts located at the junction of the upper and lower eyelids.
This system works constantly, even if we are not aware of it.
Women Cry More Than Men:
While crying frequency varies significantly among individuals, research shows that women cry about three to four times more frequently than men.
And when they cry it tends to be more intense. Emotional tears tend to be produced in larger quantities as a response to emotional stimuli such as sadness, pain, or even happiness.
Crying for emotional reasons makes you feel better, releases tension, and gives you a psychic reboot.