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How Does Crying Affect Your Eyes?

Have you ever had one of those days where you simply cannot stop crying? Perhaps you’ve lost a loved one and you cry until there are literally no tears left? There’s a very famous common expression to “have a good cry”; we’ve all heard it, and possibly even said it a time or two… However, what is the exact meaning behind it? Is it even really possible to have a ‘good’ cry?? Is the expression referring to your emotional state? Or perhaps, your physical state? In this article we will explore the nature behind tears welling up, and the physical effect crying have on our eyes.

We can cry for all different types of reasons: over the loss of someone close, a busy and stressful day – or even a good laugh can make us cry! In the middle of crying, we often strive to immediately wipe our tears away and simply stop crying. Well, while we all know it may not be so simple, research is now being presented that it may not be the best option either! There are three main types of tears: simple eye-watering tears and basal tears, and stress-related or emotional tears.

Our eyes can begin to water without any sort of emotional adversary. Watery eyes is due to a physical reaction, and can protect our eyes from foreign bodies, like: dust and debris. These are typically called reflex tears. Basal tears are a little different, but still appear on a protective level. All of us have a liquid layer protecting our eyes from getting dried out; that layer is known as basal tears. In order to ensure our eyes won’t dry out, or receive any bacteria, basal tears keep our eyes lubricated at [almost] all times. Typically we know exactly what stress-related and emotional tears are – however, there are of course many levels of intensity. However, recent research suggests that these tears actually differ significantly than any kind of protective-type of tears due to the components making up the tears. Typically however, additional lubrication to our eyes (via emotional crying) can only offer extra physical benefits to the eye.

While crying doesn’t physical damage our eyes, crying for extended periods of time can cause temporary stressors to our eyes, face, and body in general. Believe it or not, producing [emotional or stress-related] tears actually causes the body a lot of work. Therefore, when you are crying for a long period of time, you are literally exhausting yourself. Hence the reason we always so exhausted after a ‘good’ cry! If you are not hydrated enough, you could obtain a headache, and generally feel all-around weak.

Let’s face it: it’s hard to block tears when they’re on their way! There are some ways to try and stop, or at least lessen the flow of heavy crying – oftentimes laughter can play a big role in that! However, if you’re looking to cover up your darkened, circle-ridden eyes after a day of bawling crying, there are other alternatives! You could go with the classic approach of wearing sunglasses or regular prescription glasses. However, you want to be careful when wearing a pair of eyeglasses frames because depending on your prescription, you may actually enhance your look! No matter how you choose to continue after a day full of tears, just take solace in knowing that the old wives tale wasn’t far off… So feel free to go, and have a good cry!

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