Why Do Your Eyes Water When You Yawn? Should You Worry?

Joan Agie
Nov 07, 2023 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Oct 13, 2021
A man yawning while covering his mouth with his hand

It is one of the most common things to have your eyes tear up after a yawn.

The amount of tears produced by a person after yawning is completely arbitrary. It also varies and is different for every person.

If your eyes seem to water a lot during a yawn, underlying health problems like allergies or dry eye syndrome may be the cause. There is little research on what makes us yawn in the first place.

However, watery eyes are mostly nothing to worry about. Even if there is a problem, they are easily fixed by a visit to an opthalmologist. Other factors like tiredness, not getting enough sleep, and a lack of physical activity may also cause more tears to flow from your eyes post-yawning.

If you enjoyed this article, why not also read about why do golfers yell fore or why do your ears pop here on Kidadl.

Is it normal for eyes to water when you yawn?

Yes, it is very normal for your eyes to become watery when you yawn. The most plausible reason why eyes water is when you yawn, your facial muscles tighten up and put pressure on the already scrunched up eyes. This causes excess tears to spill out.

Yawning is an involuntary act and why the body does it isn't entirely clear either. But everyone does it and it can feel satisfying. People often try to hide or stifle it, and most of us become teary-eyed when yawning.

Yawning is possibly done to cool the brain's temperature. This brain cooling and eventual yawning may cause the eyes to spill water, as a way of heat being dissipated by the skull.

Also, the pressure on the facial muscles puts pressure on the glands that produce tears. If your eyes are already watery, they are likely to be tearier than others while yawning.

Another reason that your eyes may be tearing up a lot is dry eye syndrome. It can sound strange but the dryness of your eyes can lead to very moist and watery eyes.

When one happens to have dryness in the eye, it means the eye isn't getting enough lubrication that is needed to protect it from possible infection. This leads to an overproduction of tears to temporarily compensate. Yawning can easily overproduce these tears.

Other factors that normally work with yawns to produce teary eyes are dry or cold weather, flowing breeze from ACs and fans, irritants in sprays, fragrances, dust, conjunctivitis, styes, scratched cornea, and allergies.

What to do when your eyes water while yawning?

Eyes water when we yawn, it's completely normal. Although, some people can yawn and not tear up at all.

Dry eyes can lead you to not have any lubrication, which may lead to increased tears when you yawn or almost no tears at all. If you notice yourself producing fewer amounts of tears generally, it is possible that you don't tear up at all when yawning.

Research on the amount of tear production is not sufficient. Physical factors and the surrounding environment may have an effect on tear production as well.

Everybody produces a different amount of tears, so what's normal for one person can be considered excessive for another. So if you feel like you are producing what is an excessive amount of tears while yawning, it's best to seek medical consultation from an ophthalmologist.

Ophthalmologists are doctors who specialize in medical issues related to eyes and dry eye syndrome is a health problem treated by them frequently. If something like a sleep disorder is the problem, primary medical care doctors may be able to help you as well.

Either way, if your yawning and tearing seem excessive, then the problem's root cause should be figured out.

There's little that can be done by you to stop your eyes from tearing up but treatment for allergies and dry eyes is easy to come by. Also, getting ample sleep and physical activity can lead to a fewer amount of yawns.

Cute baby yawning before sleeping

Why do eyes water when you yawn?

Eyes water during yawns due to the pressure put on the muscles of the face and eyes, or due to dry eye syndrome.

When a person is tired, they're fighting against sleep and trying to keep their eyes open. The more that they're open, the drier they tend to get. In such a situation, the body produces basal tears. Protein, mucus, oil, and water make up basal tears.

Also, humans produce about 15-30 gal (56.8-113.6 L) of tears in a single year, according to the AAO (American Academy of Opthalmology). Lacrimal glands are responsible for making fluid when we happen to cry, when we're sad, or when we yawn.

Lacrimal glands are located right above the eyes. Tears tend to spread over the eye's surface when a person blinks.

From there, the tears happen to go into tiny holes near the corners of the lower and upper eyelids. From there, they drain through tiny channels and down the tear ducts onto your nose.

Also, it's entirely possible for people to not shed a single tear when yawning. But don't worry you never actually run out of tears.

How do I stop my eyes from watering when I yawn?

We don't have much or if any control over the tears that flow from our eyes while yawning.

If you feel like your eyes water too much when you yawn, you can always seek a medical visit to an ophthalmologist who can treat things like dry eye syndrome or allergies. Also, having ample physical activity and a night of quality sleep can help your eyes stay healthy.

Overall, it is not alarming for your eyes to water after yawning.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for why do your eyes water when you yawn then why not take a look at why do boats float or why do leaves fall.

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

Read full bio >