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Posted by on Jul 27, 2015 in Tell Me Why |

Why Are My Tears Salty?

Why Are My Tears Salty?

Tears are mostly water mixed with salt. More than half of your body is made up of water. But this “body fluid” is not pure water. It is actually a salt solution. Salt is a common material in all animals and plants. Salt makes up about 0.9 percent of your blood and body cells.

You can taste the salt when you lick a drop of sweat or a tear with your tongue. (There are special areas on your tongue for tasting salt.) It is necessary to eat a small amount of salt every day in order to stay healthy.

Body cells must have salt in order to live and work. You can usually get all the salt you need from the food you eat. Salt keeps cells hydrated by pulling water into cells when necessary.

When people cry, plasma fluid is pulled from the cells in the lacrimal gland and is secreted through the tear ducts. This fluid is full of salt, electrolytes and metabolic waste products of cellular processes. Tears are a way the body secretes these products to get rid of them.

Content for this question contributed by Juanita King, resident of Parma, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, USA