Why Does Your Nose Run When You Cry?

Emma asks:  Why does your nose runs when you cry?

Now You KnowWell when you’re crying, if you find your nose running and your feet smelling, perhaps you’re upside down? *crickets*

In truth, your nose runs when you’re crying because the tears from your tear glands not only drain out onto your face, but there is also a passage way in the inner corner of your eye that leads into your nose.  Specifically, the tears drain into your nose via the nasolacrimal duct which drains into the inferior nasal meatus. Once in your nose, the tears mix with mucus to form very liquidy snot.

This is actually happening all the time, but when you cry, there is simply a lot more moisture from your eyes going into your nose than normal, making the mucus in your nose even more liquidy than it would otherwise be.

Some people who have very dry eyes actually have plugs put in this canal to their nose in order to stop the moisture from going there.  This helps their eyes retain a little more moisture than they would have.  As a side benefit, when they cry, their noses won’t run.

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