Tears are your body’s natural way to protect your eyes by keeping
your corneas moist, and flushing out harmful particles. Your eyes produce
tears in order to provide constant lubrication to the eye. With every
blink, the surface of the eye (the cornea) is coated and protected by
tears. These tears help keep the eye clean and free from dust or other
debris. They provide protection against infections, and they help stabilize vision.
Your eyes are constantly coated by a tear film that is made up of three
distinct layers. The mucous layer consists of mucin. It is secreted by
the conjunctival goblet cells. It coats the cornea and allows for the
even distribution of the tear film. The aqueous layer is made up of primarily
water and proteins. It is secreted by the lacrimal gland. It promotes
the spreading of the tear film, and also promotes the control of infectious
agents. The lipid layer consists of oils and is secreted by the tarsal
glands. It prevents tears from spilling on to the cheeks.
Tears are produced when there is irritation in the eye, or when you experience
strong emotions such as sadness or joy. Tears play a vital role in
eye health, and should never be taken for granted.
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