Most people only think of tears when we see or feel them rolling down cheeks. Tears are associated with emotions. However, tears are essential to eye health and they are pretty underrated. Tears are more than water and they’re more than an expression of emotions.

Protective Tears
Tears protect our eyes 24/7. The surface of the eye is incredibly vulnerable and the tear film barrier protects that surface from a whole slew of germs and irritants. The tear film barrier is made up of three layers: a mucous layer, an aqueous layer made up of saltwater, and an outer layer that’s oily and keeps the other layers form evaporating. These layers work together to protect, lubricate, and clean our eyes. Every time we blink tears wash debris out of our eyes to keep them clean and keep vision clear.

Types of Tears
There are distinct types of tears that all preform different jobs. Basal tears coat our eyes on a daily basis to keep them moisturized. Reflex tears are a response to pain or irritation and are tasked with flushing foreign objects out of the eye. Emotional tears are a response to feelings whether that’s happiness or sadness. These tears carry protein based hormones and help cleanse chemical side effects of pent up emotion out of the body. All three types of tears have their own task but all are equally important. Tears really are the body’s unsung hero.