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July 27, 2015
By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist and
Susan Callahan, Health Editor

Sometimes you need a good cry and the tears flow after you’ve
received some  upsetting news, or you watch a sad movie. Crying
has always been with us. It is the first sound we make fresh from
our mother's womb. And, in many cases, it is the last sound we
hear as we leave this Earth. In between, most of us cry plenty.
Both men and women cry. But women cry more, with women
crying an average of 5.3 times per month and men an average of
1.2 times per month.

These surprisingly high figures were reported in 2011 in a study
by Dr. Lauren Bylsma of the University of Pittsburgh.

Why is it that sometimes we cry even though we don't feel like
there is a good reason to cry? Do we sometimes cry without
tears? And why do we need to cry so much anyways? Finally, for
those times when we are crying without reason, are there natural
remedies that help?

The Science of Crying

Crying is a uniquely human action, according to scientists who
have studied the process.  Scientists define crying as the release
of watery tears from the lacrimal apparatus without irritation of
the occular structures of the eye.  

This lack of irritation is what distinguishes true crying from just
"watery eyes".  Crying is also accompanied by a distortion of
your facial features and, in the case of "sobbing", by the
convulsive inhaling and exhaling of air, according to a 2014 study
led by Dr. Asmir Gracanin of the University of Rijeka, Croatia and
Dr. Lauren Bylsma of the University of Pittsburgh.

Some animals appear to cry, as anyone who has listened to a
lonely dog howling for its owner can attest to, but we humans
cry not only at sad events but many of us cry when we are
extremely happy as well.

Tearless Crying?

But sometimes crying --- or at least the "feeling" of crying ---
occurs even without the tears.

How can this happen? The answer lies in the biological purpose
of crying. Crying is a way for us to manage our emotions, our
moods. Crying can function as a catharis, an escape valve to
release emotions when these emotions have become unbearably

This is why scientists studying crying have also identified other
types of "release valves", if you will, which can occur without th
tears of crying. These release valves can indeed feel like crying.

Swearing Can Feel Like Crying

It was the famous scientist Sigmund Freud who first identified
swearing as just such a release valve, in his 1895 treatise,
"Studies on Hysteria".

After you swear, you may feel a release, a resolved feeling, a
rinsing out, a peace after the storm, much as you would feel after
a good cry.

Aggression Can Feel Like Crying

Like swearing, aggression also is used by humans to release
emotions which are unbearably intense.  All forms of aggression
can serve this biological function, from verbal aggression, to
physical aggression. These forms of release are of course anti-
social, for they often impinge on the rights of others.

When Crying Occurs Without Emotion

But why do you feel like you’re crying when you are neither
upset nor depressed, when you are enjoying a normal day at the
office or at home? Your eyes are watering and you feel like you’
re crying but you’re not in pain and nothing is wrong. It’s
embarrassing – everyone thinks you are crying and the condition
can stop you socializing and make work life difficult.

Other Physical Reasons You Feel Like You’re Crying

Your eyes need to produce tears to stay moist and healthy but
most of the time you don’t notice them as they drain away into
your nose through your tear ducts.

Sometimes, however, you experience tears streaming down your
cheeks for no reason. When this happens your eyes are
producing extra tears to clear away obstructions or irritations.

You may also feel like you are crying when you have a blocked
tear duct, or your tears are not draining away properly. Watering
or watery eyes, also called "epiphora", is a common problem and
it is often mistaken for crying. It is more common in people aged
over 60, and in babies.

Common causes of eyes watering that make it feel like you are
crying include blocked tear ducts, inflammation of the eyelid
(blepharitis), and dry eyes. You can also experience watery eyes
when you have a cold or when you are suffering from hay fever.
Infections of the tear duct can cause watering eyes, and the
condition also occurs when the eyelid turns in or out, or there is
an ingrown eyelash (trichiasis) causing problems. Pink eye
(conjunctivitis) is another common cause of over-watery eyes.

Less common causes of the condition include eye injury, sinusitis,
Sjogren's syndrome, arthritis and other inflammatory diseases,
plus thyroid disorders and tumors in the tear drainage system.

What are the Other Emotionless Crying Symptoms You May

In addition to the tears that pour down your face making it look
like you are crying, you may also experience pain in the eye,
inflammation around the eye area, impairment to your vision,
sneezing, sore eyes or sticky eyes, depending on the condition
that is causing the excess tears.

The treatment for the times when it feels like you are crying also
depends on the underlying condition that causes the tears. We
looked at recent scientific research to find out how to combat the
problem and clear up the tears.

Clear Up the Tears by Treating Blepharitis with N-Acetyl

Blepharitis causes excessive tearing as well as redness, swollen
eyes, eyelash crusting, and sensitivity to light. If you feel like you
are crying it could be blepharitis. N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC), a
modified form of cysteine the dietary amino acid, is believed to
help remedy blepharitis by loosening the secretions around the
eyelids. A 2002 study from SSK Okmeydani Training Hospital,
Istanbul, Turkey looked at NAC for people with chronic
blepharitis and found that 100mg of NAC three times a day for
eight weeks significantly improved the condition.

Use Fatty Acids to Clear the Tears Associated with Sjogren's

Sjogren's syndrome happens when the immune system affects
the tear glands and the salivary glands, resulting in dry eyes and
– strangely – lots of tears, dry mouth, and loss of taste and smell.
A small 2005 study from the University of Messina in Italy
discovered that a combination of GLA and omega-6 fatty acid
linoleic acid improved the eye symptoms associated with
Sjogren's syndrome.

Flax Oil Also Helps Prevent Excessive Tearing

Another natural remedy which may help excess tears due to
Sjogren’s syndrome is flax oil. Flax oil contains high levels of
omega-3 fatty acids, and the use of 1 to 2g of flax oil a day was
shown to improve the symptoms of dry eyes and excessive
tearing in a 2007 study from the Universidade de Brasília, Brazil.

Stop Excessive Tears Caused by Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is also known as pinkeye and it is an inflammation
of the membrane covering the eyeball. Conjunctivitis may result
in watery eyes, as well as bloodshot eyes and eye discomfort. As
conjunctivitis is often caused by a viral infection it is usually left
to go away on its own.

When it is caused by the herpes virus treatment is needed. Cold
compresses made with herbal tea in a compress or poultice are
often cited as natural remedies for conjunctivitis but you need to
be careful with herbs and compresses like eyebright, goldenseal,
calendula, and chamomile as they are not sterile and may cause
further eye irritation which will produce more tears rather than

Stop Crying Due to Hay Fever

Hay fever can make it look like you are crying, producing watery
eyes as well as red eyes and nasal irritation. If you feel like you
are crying in the summer and spring months when there is a lot
of pollen in the air then you could be suffering from hay fever.
One unusual study (2003, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam,
The Netherlands) looked at the effectiveness of a nasal spray for
hay fever relief containing capsaicin, the  part that makes cayenne
pepper hot. The ingredient may not be entirely practical,
however, as the researchers had to give participants a local
anesthetic in the nose before they used the remedy.

Take Echinacea for Tears Caused by the Common Cold

If your tears are caused by the common cold, try taking
Echinacea to stop the cold progressing. A 1997 study by Hoheisel
O, Sandberg M, Bertram S, et al looked at 120 people who were
given Echinacea or a placebo as they began to suffer from a cold.
Fewer of the people taking Echinacea went on to develop full
colds, and those that did develop them found their symptoms
were less severe.

Can Taking Vitamin C Help Stop Tears Caused by a Cold?

Watery eyes due to a cold may be eased by reducing the
symptoms of the cold with vitamin C. A 2010 study from the
University of Helsinki, Finland looked at 29 trials and found that
taking at least 2,000mg a day of vitamin C before a cold
developed resulted in shorter colds and less severe colds – good
news if your tears arrive when your cold does.

Continue reading >> Eye Health:

Eat for Eye Health

Remove Dark Eye Circles

Stye In Your Eye-Top Remedies

Swollen Eyelids-Causes and Remedies

Whites of Your Eyes-Remedies for Red,Yellow, Gray and Brown Eyes

How High Blood Pressure Affects Your Eyes

Diet and Exercise

Snoring Linked to

How to Stop Bad Breath





















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Feel like a good cry? Scientists have found
that women cry 4 times more than men
on average.