Yawning is not a voluntary action of the body. Why do my eyes water when I yawn? This question we all have asked ourselves at least once in our lifetime. Tear production is a part of yawning. Researchers still need to find out why we yawn.
Humans and animals all yawn but the reason behind it is still unknown. We mostly yawn when we are tired or sleepy. Most of the time, a yawn is accompanied by tears.
Why Do People Yawn?
There is no single answer to this question. Many studies explain different reasons behind yawning. Some frequently believed reasons are mentioned below.
People yawn after feeling tired or exhausted. So some studies say yawning can improve your alertness. After Yawning you will feel relief from tiredness.
Some researchers claim that yawning can be used as a calming signal. Both humans and animals yawn too much when they are stressed. It is observed in people like athletes that when they are under stress, they yawn excessively.
Clear Eustachian Tube
The middle ear and throat are connected by an eustachian tube. At higher altitudes, these tubes will suffer high pressure and can lead to their blockage. Yawning helps in clearing these blockages.
Increase Oxygen Levels
When you yawn, you breathe deeply. Thus a huge amount of oxygen is taken in. Carbon dioxide intake doesn’t increase the yawning frequency so the claim that, yawning is to increase oxygen level is invalid.
Why Do My Eyes Water When I Yawn?
When you yawn there is contraction in your facial muscles. The pressure put on facial muscles can trigger the lacrimal glands. Lacrimal glands are tear-producing glands. They are found below your eyebrows.
Tears flow down through minute tear ducts. When facial muscles contract these tear ducts are blocked and tears are trapped inside them for a long time. When eyes get opened after yawning these tears flow down.
A tear film is composed of three different layers. The first is the fatty oil layer, the second is the water layer, and lastly mucus layer. This multi-layered tear film provides lubrication to the eyes and protects them from pathogens. Now let’s dig deeper into reasons for watery eyes during yawning.
Tears are considered a cooling system for the brain as they perform a mechanism to decrease the temperature of the brain. Studies reveal tears eliminate heat from the skull. Yawning cools down the brain to an extent.
Yawning cause the contraction of muscles around the face and eyes. These contractions put pressure on the lacrimal gland and tears are generated.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eyes are an issue that most people face when they are exposed to computer screens for a long time or any such activity. It is a condition in which eyes lack the adequate lubricants which are needed for their protection. A person with dry eyes can produce excess tears during yawning to balance the lubrication. Sometimes dry eyes won’t let you produce a single tear.
A person may or may not produce tears while yawning. The variation happens because it is related to the person’s body and some other external conditions. Cold or dry weather, irritants like dust, wind from a fan or air conditioner, conjunctivitis, sprays, and scratched cornea. These factors can affect the production of tears.
Are Excess Tears Problematic?
Some people are prone to crying They produce tears more often when yawning than others. If you think your eyes tear excessively then find out the reason behind it. Everybody’s definition of normal can be different. If you find yourself tearing more often then consult with an eye doctor.
There is no proper way to control yawns and tears. Always remember to have quality sleep and healthy eating habits. You can take a walk around your garden when you feel bored. These ways can prevent yawning frequently.
Are Yawns Contagious?
We often witness that when somebody yawns near us, we suddenly start yawning. Science says contagious yawns are related to empathy. There are greater chances of catching yawns from those who are emotionally connected to us than absolute strangers. Sometimes we yawn just by watching a video or just imagining someone yawning. It is noticed that even animals exhibit the same behavior.
Types of Tears
Each tear has distinct composition. Based on the chemical composition there are different types of tears.
These types of tears act as lubricants and they protect eyes from drying. These tears keep the moisture in the eyes. Basal tears consist of proteins, and antibodies besides the basic components.
The lysozyme present in basal tears provides the ability to fight bacteria and other microbes.
Reflex tears are different from basal tears in many aspects. They are defense tears that protect the eyes in case of emergency. In the case of dry eye syndrome brain receives a signal that says the eyes need more water for moisture. Then reflex tears are produced in excess. Relex tear’s majority component is water.
Stimulation of the limbic system results in the generation of psychic tears. The limbic system controls our emotions. Psychic tears are produced in reaction to an emotion. The emotion can vary depending on the person and situation. People can cry because of sadness and joy. Unlike basal tears and reflex tears, psychic tears mainly consist of hormones.
Do Tears Burn?
Normally tears do not burn. Stinging tears are a matter of concern. If your tears are burning certain other eye conditions may be the reason.
Damaged contact lenses
Almost everyone tears up when yawning. It depends on the physiology of the human body. Tears are necessary for the protection of the eyes. If your eyes water too much then opt for expert advice. Why do my eyes water when I yawn? This question has no single answer. Yawning stimulates the lacrimal gland to produce tears. Other eye conditions and external factors can also trigger tears.
Why do my eyes water every time I yawn?
Muscles around the face and eyes contract while yawning. This contraction stimulates the lacrimal gland to produce tears.
Is it normal to cry when you yawn?
Eye-watering during yawning is not abnormal. There is ambiguity regarding this topic. But watery eyes are not because of any infection.
Can my eyes tear up when I’m tired?
When you are tired, your eyes become dry. The dryness demands more moisture. To keep eyes moisturized tears are produced.
What is the reason for a yawn?
Yawning has many purposes. It can be a calming signal to relieve stress, it can increase your alertness and it can clear the blockage of the eustachian tube.