Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Tears
Tears are produced by the lacrimal glands to keep the eye moist and
to wash away dust, dirt, germs, and other irritating substances. Tears are
formed to keep the eye moist under normal conditions and also in response to an
irritant (such as an eyelash in the eye) or emotion.
For a person to see well, he or she must produce enough tears to
keep the eye moist, and have a drainage system for tears that functions
properly. When tears cannot drain from the eye, they frequently build up around
the eyeball and flow down the cheek or nose.
Current as of:
August 21, 2015
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.