Harvard Health Letter

When eyes get dry and what you can try

If artificial tears don't work, anti-inflammatory cyclosporine drops may.

We notice tears when we cry and when others do. Psychologists theorize that weeping is an "attachment behavior" designed to get others to help us — you might say that tears are a cry for help. There's an old theory that sobbing may help fend off infections, the notion being that some of the overflow drains into the nose through the tiny ducts that connects the inside corners of the eyes to the nose. In the nose, tears moisten nasal mucous membranes so they're more effective at corralling bacteria and viruses.

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