why do we get a runny nose when we cry
, sadness, painвit s inevitable that a good cry will leave you with a runny nose. We ve all been in the same
, sniffly place at one time or another. As it turns out, thanks to good ol biology, there s no way to stop it from happening. When you get all snotty during a cry, it s actually because your tears are draining down from your eyes, mixing with , and coming out your nostrils (mind. blown. ). You re not making more mucous, it s just the tears draining and mixing with the mucous [that s already there], , director of the division of general otolaryngology at NYU Langone Medical Center, tells SELF. We have baseline tears that flow through the day protecting our eyes, Voigt explains. There s a constant flow of tears, but it s so subtle that we re not really aware of them, he adds. Thatвs because, in normal circumstances, tears are produced by glands above the eye, cleaning and lubricating the surface of the eye, then flowing out through our tear ducts, which are located in the inner corners of our upper and lower eyelids. These tears then drain into the nasolacrimal ducts, which run down each side of the nose.
In the nose, tears mix with the nasal mucus (aka snot). When we cry and way more tears than usual are bombarding our eyes, even more fluid travels down through the ducts into the nose and the rest flows straight onto the face (obviously). So there are tears coming down the face but a lot of them are going down into the nose as well, and thatвs when the and we do a lot of sniffling, Voigt says. We sniffle to get the tears out of there, and it pulls them into the throat and we swallow them. Yummy. , it can actually travel into the ducts and stick to the back of your nose. Iвve had patients come in that have green or blue or black particle matter in their nasal mucous and in fact, itвs coming from their eye makeup, Voigt says. You can see it in the nose with an endoscope. This can happen from natural baseline tears flushing bits of back over time, or if you re wearing a lot of eye makeup and have a sudden, epic crying episode. If you have enough, it could block your tear duct, and youвd get chronic tearing, Voigt says. (If you ever notice you tear a lot out of one eye and not the other, it s something you should talk to your eye doc about. ) It s typically nothing to worry about, thoughвmost of the particles just get swallowed and your digestive system takes care of cleaning them out.
The body can. You may have heard the old joke: If your nose is running and your feet smell, you must be upside down! But why does your nose run? Read on to find out the whole story. What's Running? To understand why your nose runs, you need to know what mucus (say: MYOO-kus) is. This is the gooey, sticky, slimy material that's made inside your (also known as snot). Believe it or not, your nose and make about a quart of snot every day! For something kind of gross, mucus does a lot of good. It keeps germs, dirt, pollen, and bacteria from getting into your by stopping them in your nose. But sometimes mucus doesn't stay put. If your nose is running, there are several possible explanations: You have a or the : When you have either one of these, your nose goes into mucus-making overdrive to keep the germ invaders out of your lungs and the rest of your body, where they might make you even sicker than you already are.
You know what happens then: The mucus runs down your throat, out your nose, or into a tissue when you blow your nose. Or it can fill your sinuses, which is why you get that stuffy feeling. You have : Kids who have allergies get runny noses when they're around the thing they're allergic to (like pollen or animal hair). That's because their bodies react to these things like they're. You're crying: When you cry, tears come out of the tear glands under your eyelids and drain through the tear ducts that empty into your nose. Tears mix with mucus there and your nose runs. Baby, it's cold outside: When you're outside on a cold day, your nose tries its best to warm up the cold air you breathe before sending it to the lungs. Tiny blood vessels inside your nostrils open wider (dilate), helping to warm up that air. But that extra blood flow leads to more mucus production. You know what happens next. Drip, drip, drip. If you have allergies, your doctor might give you medicine called an antihistamine (say: an-tye-HISS-tuh-meen). But sometimes the easiest thing to do is you guessed it blow your nose!
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