Recently I have often been getting asked the question; “Why do my eyes cry and burn when I cut onions?” Most of us have been there. You’re cutting an onion and start to cry without fail. What is this about you wonder? Here are some facts about the tears you produce when cutting an onion!
When onions are growing, they absorb sulfur from the soil. When you cut an onion, cells are being broken down and their contents are being released. That makes it possible for enzymes that were kept separate to mix with Sulfenic acid to create a gas that wafts upwards towards your eyes and nose. Sulfenic acid burns and then triggers your eyes to produce more tears to help wash away the irritation.
Types of Tears
There are three types of tears that the human eye produces.
Emotional: Produced when you are sad
Basal: Are the tears produced to keep the eye moisturized and lubricated
Reflexive: Are the defensive tears produced by lachrymal glands to wash away irritation as in the case of cutting onions.
Ways to Minimize Tears:
Wear eye protection such as goggles
Cut the onion under water
Refrigerate the onion before you cut it
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