Why are tears salty? Simply explained

by Corinna

Why tears are salty is a frequently discussed question. It has to do with the production of tear fluid. The body could not produce tears if there was no salt in them

Explanation: Why tears are salty

The water for the tears is drawn from the surrounding tissue. For this to work, salt is produced and secreted in the lacrimal glands.

  • If there was no salt in the lacrimal glands, tears could not be produced. It is the salt secreted by the lacrimal glands that makes it possible
  • The lacrimal gland is located above the eye. In order to produce tears, it secretes salt to draw the fluid out of the tissue. This process is called osmosis.
  • This salt is of course not comparable to conventional table salt. Rather, it is a mixture of different electrolytes and potassium.

Osmosis explained simply

Osmosis is the process by which salts draw liquids out of the tissue. This is not only observed in the production of tears.

  • When you salt tomatoes or cucumbers, for example, water is extracted from them. It then collects in the bowl
  • This is because the liquid always pushes to where there is the most salt. This is exactly what happens in the eyes
  • The lacrimal gland secretes the salt and draws the water out of the tissue, which in turn collects in the lacrimal gland.

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