Science Questions

Why do tears come to my eyes when I yawn?

Sun, 15th Jul 2007

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show Fuels of the Future

Question

Andreas Rice asked:

Why, when I yawn, do tears come to my eyes?

Answer

When people yawn, they tend to tightly shut their eyes, and this does two things. First it squeezes the lacrimal duct, causing more tears to flow into the eye. Secondly it squashes closed the tear ducts that drain the tear film from the surface of the eye. As a result there are more tears in the eye and nowhere for them to go. So when your yawn ends and you open your eyes again they are watery.

Multimedia

Subscribe Free

Related Content

Wellcome Trust
EPSRC
Powered by UKfast
STFC
Genetics Society