4 Little-Known Facts about Human Tears and Eye Health, from Park Ophthalmology

“In the blink of an eye” means lightening quick! An interesting fact, humans blink from 15 to 20 times per minute, and a single blink lasts from one-tenth to four-tenths of a second. Those short moments are what keep eyes healthy and clean. When something goes wrong with tear production, the results can be dry, irritated eyes and blurry vision. Many Triangle residents have found help through Park Ophthalmology’s Dry Eye Clinic. Ophthalmologist Dr. Beth R. Friedland developed the clinic to help Triangle area patients who don’t produce enough natural tears.

These four interesting facts from Park Ophthalmology help patients understand the links between tears, blinking and their vision:  

  • Types of tears: Humans actually produce three different kind of tears: basal, emotional and reflex. A basal tear is the liquid that keeps eyes lubricated and clean. The cornea is flushed with fluid each time a person blinks, washing away bacteria and creating a smooth surface on the cornea. That smooth surface provides clearer vision and the lubricating quality of the tear prevents friction between the eyelid and cornea.
  • Tear composition: Tears are composed of water, fats, sugars and proteins, but tears produced for lubrication and cleansing are different from those produced for emotional crying. In fact, emotional tears contain stress hormones that are released through crying, allowing the person to feel calmer afterward.
  • Onions and tears: Cutting an onion often causes people to produce reflex tears. This is because the onion vapor is irritating and the body is attempting to remove the irritant. Tear gas, pepper spray, dust and allergens can have the same affect.
  • Help for dry eyes: Anyone suffering from dry eyes knows the irritation and soreness the condition creates. Over-the-counter artificial tears may help short term and wearing glasses or sunglasses could help reduce symptoms. However, Beth R. Friedland M.D. can provide a longer-term solution.

Park Ophthalmology’s Dry Eye Clinic offers help for those with dry eyes. Get relief from the irritation and vision problems caused by dry eyes. Call the office today to schedule an appointment. Dr. Friedland is currently accepting new patients.


Park Ophthalmology welcomes patients from all areas of the Triangle and offers a wide variety of specialized services including surgery for diseases of the eye, vision examinations, eye safety information, sports medicine protective eyewear and counseling, contact lenses and evaluation, and all types of ocular diagnosis and treatment. Many types of surgery are available, including cataract and laser surgery. We are here for you and your eye and overall health. Give us a call today!

This article about the vision care is brought to you by the professional team at Park Ophthalmology located in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.

The information contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice.


Park Ophthalmology

5306 NC Highway 55, Suite 102 (adjacent to the RTP/ Research Triangle Park)

Durham, NC 27713

Office: 919 544 5375

Fax: 919 544 5829


Park Ophthalmology North

6512 Six Forks Road, Suite 105

Raleigh, NC 27615

919 846 6915

Office Manager Jenny Whitman, e-mail: parkeyemd@gmail.com.

Follow us https://twitter.com/ParkOphthNC

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Photo: Pixabay



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