When a person is calm, each of the lacrimal glands secretes about 1 ml of fluid per day. With prolonged crying, its amount can increase tenfold. But tearing is not only the result of severe pain or emotional shock: it is an extremely useful function that helps the body cope with numerous problems. We will talk about this in this article.
With severe stress, a lot of cortisol is released into the blood – a hormone involved in the mobilization of protective forces and activating the supply of organs and tissues with glucose. However, the body is able to stay under stress for a very short time and needs to remove excess cortisol. This work is performed by the lacrimal glands: the hormone is secreted as part of the lacrimal fluid, and the stress that is dangerous to health is reduced.
2. Washout of pathogens
The fluid secreted by the lacrimal glands contains lysozyme, which has a strong antimicrobial effect. Thus, tears not only wash out the pathogenic microflora that has entered them from the eyes, but also, with abundant release, cleanse the skin of the face from pathogenic bacteria.
3. Vision improvement
The tear fluid moisturizes the surface of the eyeball at the moment when a person blinks: the upper eyelid slides over the cornea and lubricates it. At the same time, vision becomes clearer, itching in the eyes disappears due to drying out during prolonged stress.
With age, the intensity of the lacrimal glands decreases. Elderly people often complain of a feeling of dryness in the eyes. Usually, in such cases, it is recommended to use pharmaceutical preparations that are similar in composition to human tears. Similar appointments are made to patients whose work is associated with long reading, sitting at a computer, or the need to use small objects.
4. Stress Relief
When crying, not only cortisol is excreted from the body, but also other substances that are formed during strong emotional stress (for example, leukinencephalin and proleukin). It has been experimentally established that a person who knows how to “cry out” his problems and fears experiences them more easily and recovers from stress faster. His body gets less stress, which has a harmful effect on the cardiovascular and nervous system. People who express their emotions with more restraint are more likely to suffer from insomnia, neurosis, depression, and hypertension.
5. Removal of foreign bodies from the eyes
Increased lacrimation also occurs in cases where foreign objects get into the eyes: particles of dust, sand, fluff, small insects, etc. This is a natural reaction that helps to quickly clean the surface of the cornea. The body also responds to some pungent odors (for example, the smell of onions) or smoke: tears protect the eyes from aggressive chemical agents.
It has been established that tears contain substances that have analgesic and regenerating effects. This means that when a foreign body enters the eye, crying helps to solve the problem in a complex way.
6. Optimization of metabolic processes
The lacrimal glands are able to excrete certain substances, the excess of which is associated with pathological processes in the body. For example, the tears of diabetic patients contain a large amount of glucose (they do not even taste salty, but sweet). There is evidence that strong emotional crying can improve the condition of people suffering from other metabolic disorders. Some scientists believe that toxic metabolic products leave the body with tears, which has a beneficial effect on the functioning of many organs and body systems.
7. Simplify interpersonal contacts
A crying person evokes a wide variety of emotions in those around him – from sympathy to irritation, but not indifference. In any case, this is a signal of trouble, and often a request for help. Tears arising from sincere experiences allow interpersonal contacts to be established even in situations where verbal communication is difficult for any reason. We can say that tears help people get closer and understand each other.
Tearing is a powerful defense mechanism. It makes it possible to cleanse the body, maintain eye health, survive stress and find sympathy from loved ones. It is not worth being ashamed of tears and holding back crying: this can adversely affect health and reduce the quality of life.
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