Close

We use cookies to give you the best possible online experience. If you continue, we'll assume you are happy for your web browser to receive all cookies from our website. See our cookie policy for more information on cookies and how to manage them.

Function: The Tear Apparatus

Tears are produced by the lacrimal (tear) glands, which are situated above each eyeball. The glands continually secrete a small amount of salty fluid that is distributed over the surface of the eyes through the action of blinking and drain into the nose. Tears form a protective film that lubricates the eye and flushes out any dust and dirt. They also contain an antibacterial ingredient. Tear production increases when you cry or if the eye is irritated by a chemical or foreign particle.

Drainage of tears

Tears drain away through the lacrimal canals into the lacrimal sac and then into the nose via the nasolacrimal duct.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

Back to top

Search the
Medical Encyclopedia

Related Topics

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.