Quiz – The Water Works

It’s okay to cry. Hopefully that is common knowledge these days. But emotional tears aren’t your only healthy tears. For our eyes to function properly and give us good vision, they must be continuously lubricated and protected from dust and foreign bodies. Too few tears over time can lead to a medical condition called, simply enough, dry eye. Take our quiz to learn more:

1. A person produces between 15-30 ____ of tears each year.

A. Tablespoons
B. Cups
C. Quarts
D. Gallons

2. In some babies, tear duct openings don’t form right away, causing a blockage when tears are formed. But most blocked tear ducts heal on their own.

A. True
B. False

3. The tear film that spreads over the eye when you blink is made up of ___.

A. Oil
B. Water
C. Mucus
D. All of the above

4. Aside from emotional tears that come from sadness, joy, and other strong emotions, there are two other two types of tears called:

A. Membranic and catalytic
B. Dense and vacuous
C. Basal and reflex
D. Sincere and crocodile

5. A common symptom of dry eye is ____.

A. A gritty feeling
B. Stinging or burning
C. Pain from contact lenses
D. Strings of mucus in or around the eyes
E. All of the above

6. The body produces about the same amount of tears throughout a person’s life.

A. True
B. False


1. D. Gallons. The eyes are continuously producing tears for several purposes.

2. A. True. Most tear ducts function correctly by the time a child is 1 year old. But if not, the child may need treatment.

3. D. All of the above.  The outside of the tear film has an oily layer, keeping the surface smooth. A middle, watery layer washes away particles. An inner mucus layer spreads the watery layer over the surface.

4. C. Basal and reflex. Basal are the tiny, constant lubricating tears that occur when you blink. Reflex tears are released in larger amounts to wash away harmful irritants like smoke or foreign objects.

5. E. All of the above. Some of the causes of dry eye include medications such as diuretics and allergy medicines, dry environments, or screen time without taking a break or blinking enough.

6. B. False. The production of basal tears slows down with age. This makes older people, including women going through menopause, more susceptible to dry eye.

Sources: St. Joseph’s/Candler’s Health Library and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.


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