Why do my tears dry white?

Are you someone who has ever cried only to find that your tears dry up white? It’s not just you. This phenomenon of tears drying colorless, or sometimes even white, is quite common. But why does this happen? Is it some kind of supernatural force at play here? Some might speculate that maybe a curse has been put on them! Fear not, dear reader! In this article I’ll be taking an in-depth look at what causes our tears to dry white and debunking a few supposed myths along the way.

The Science Behind Our Tears

First things first, to understand why our tears dry white we need to know exactly what goes into making up a tear. A single tear drop can contain water, salt (aka sodium chloride), mucus and various enzymes – all mixed together in different ratios depending on the type of tear being produced.

Interestingly enough there are actually three types of tears: basal (that keep the eye moist), reflex (to protect against harmful substances) and emotional (that come as a reaction to emotions like happiness or sadness). Depending on which type we produce and how the mix of components differ between these types will decide if they appear cloudy or clear when they roll down our cheeks.

Dehydration & Sodium Concentration

Now let’s get back to those salty drops rolling down your face – did you know that certain levels of dehydration could cause your body’s chemistry to change so much so that it can impact the composition of your tears!?

When experiencing dehydration,your body would break down specific compounds called urea for energy purposes resulting in higher blood concentration which inevitably leads in addition, similarily high concentration in sweating fluids – including teardrops wouldn’t rule out this eventuality either because sweat glands don’t discriminate for whether a fluid should be emitted through bodily pores versus eyes’ lacrimal gland (doesn’t require scientific explanation). This high concentration of salt will cause your tears to appear cloudier, or murkier in appearance instead of clear.

Our body’s balance between water and ions is important for the many processes that keep everything functioning smoothly – but if at any point there are too many sodium ions, it can cause our tears to become more opaque than they normally would.

Why do my tears dry white then?

Ah yes, coming back to our original question… after all these explanations so far! The answer lies in a phenomenon called evaporation. You see when we cry, the water in our tears evaporates leaving behind whatever was in those tears – mucus and enzymes etc- hence forming whitish strakcs on cheeks because left-behind components had similarly became concentrated due to water loss during evoporation (need elaborating further like how other forms of ‘stale’ fluids end up being corrosive).

While this might seem strange at first glance just think about what happens when you spill sugary drinks on your clothes; once it dries up you’re left with a sticky patch that no matter how much you try to take off cannot get rid off completely? Well overly-sugared fluid stuck as stain operates on similar principle where the main constituents have lost some solvent (water); however partly dissolved sugar leaves residue upon drying. Could cranberry juice be an exception though? It’s something else entirely!

But back onto topic folks: If the tear drop has less fluid volume compared with solute within /mixed in its makeup (which happened through evaportation), then remaining substances crystalize as formation thereby leading bleached patches also knowns chalky streaks on eye-lid margins & down cheeks. Although concluding sentence sounded posh! Sorry about that!

With Great Emotions Come Greater Amount of Tears Shed

Did anyone tell you while growing up everytime someone cries a new angel gets its wings? Fact-check: A fibre of imagination! But one genuine fact is that the number of tears you shed can vary based on the intensity and nature of your emotional state – as emotions play into what kind(s) or( categories of )tears we cry in addition to their volume production.

Consquently more water loss from resultant tear drop~ s also expected if someone cries out, say result of an intense /heartwrenching drama. And naturally, during evaporation there will be residues left behind like mucus formation that settle on skin upon drying leading to otherwise clear tears glistening white (there’s no need for distinct examples when discussing sole topic).

Tear Through Myth

Let us now dive deep into some alleged myths about why our tears dry white!

Myth #1: It Stays Clear When You Cry Due To Onions

Believe it or not- onions are frequently accused as party culprit because everytime people cut them they end up crying – so the assumption goes that something similar must happen internally which occasion whitish residue seeking outlet inward.

But let me tell you folks it’s simply untrue, sorry to burst that bubble ‘if’ there was any….it could occur only through reflex type tear where cheese-like proteins come out but all that aside onion-induced-lacrimation bears little relevance here today!!

Myth #2: Only Human Tears Dry White

Sorry pets…Shedding honest-to-goodness-tears isn’t pivotal priviledge for humans alone; cats & dogs too have heart (and tear ducts!). Make note however (& please spread among friends obsessed with cats): feline species possess tear-only-ish phenomenon occuring in smaller amounts while having other means keeping eyes moisturized whereas human saline-based tears undergo composition changes making space for mucins dating back from even ancestral canine ancestors (not yet proven though).

Myth #3: The Saltiness of Tears Causes it to Dried Streaky

It might come across as a paradox in view of what we’ve posited earlier but salt leaks from tear ducts doesn’t cause tear stains due to the fact that the main reason for opacity (cloudiness/murk appearance) are other constituents present in shed tears & relating their formulation such as albumin, enzymes or lipids.

Salt concentration plays remaining background support role without having much dominanct over ultimate clarity mostly needed whenever crying happens unlike this article! Again no need for specfic example.

Tips To Help Stop Your Eyes from Watering

Is your boss always bringing up how they notice you constantly rubbing clumps out your eyes every so often? Now cometh moment where you gotta stop being mocked around office; here are some tips to avert watery eyeballs:

  1. Avoid onions while prepping meals and at restaurants.
  2. Meditate Practice conscious breathing techniques when you feel overwhelmed/stressed enough.
  3. Take breaks from staring at screens but don’t get caught by supervisor!
  4. Consider wearing larger frames glasses especially those covering most part of face.

And there you have it folks – some concrete ways towards keeping emoitonal atmosphere–minus obvious sharp object threats ((a touch of humorous expression won’t hurt though sincerity is more awesome buddy!) –heathly!!


In conclusion then, we can see that our tears dry white because various solutes stick behind once water has been evaporated -sorry if oversimplification does disservice elucidating complexities beyond mere casual reading!! Keep in mind too however that different types of tears produce different residue levels once dried out which may also explain why certain emotional outburst-induced tears may leave behind greater amounts chalk-like discharge down cheeks than purely reflex-related ones.

Now next time someone tries telling us our onion chopping skills could be blamed for white tear stains around eyes, rest assured that there is actually ZERO connection between the two! Mystery Solved (at least in futuristic tense).

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