Unlock the Puzzle: Why Do Eyes Tear Up During Peeing?

ELI5 Summary:

Have you ever wondered, “Why do my eyes water when I pee?” This unusual reaction might seem strange, but it’s not uncommon. While extensive research is yet to be conducted, some theories suggest it involves the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps regulate urination and tear production. Another belief is that a feeling of relief after ‘holding it in’ triggers an emotional and physical release. However, everyone’s reactions can be unique, and these theories might not apply universally. If this watering is accompanied by pain, redness, or blurred vision, consult with a healthcare provider to rule out any potential eye conditions. So remember, your body is full of wonders, and this might just be one of its many quirks!


Have you ever asked yourself, “why do I cry when I pee?” If you’ve experienced this strange sensation, rest assured, you’re not alone. This unexpected physiological reaction may seem bewildering, or even concerning, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. In this post, we aim to unravel this enigma for you. Let’s go.

Understanding the Phenomenon

Our bodies work tremendously hard every second of every day, through a complex series of interconnected processes. It’s often when these processes overlap in unusual ways that we experience the truly peculiar facets of our physiology, like our eyes watering when we pee.

What Causes Eyes to Water?

Tears, those salty drops that trickle down our cheeks, are made by the lacrimal glands located in your upper eyelids. These are primarily responsible for keeping the eyes lubricated and free from dust or any irritants. The glands produce tears continuously throughout the day, and we usually blink these away without even realizing it. But why would they seem to overflow at the most unexpected times, like during urination?

The Human Body’s Intricate Connection

Every system in our body is interconnected in one way or another. The eye-watering phenomenon during peeing, known medically as “Gustatory Lacrimation“, perhaps, is one untangled part of this intricate thread, often attributed to a simultaneous and paradoxical reflex involving the eyes and urinary system. Thus, it is becoming increasingly clear that what may seem unlinked in our bodies might have connections unseen and yet to be fully explained.

Digging Deeper: Why Do Tears Flow While You Urinate?

Many of us have encountered this weird sensation but shrugged it off as something random, or perhaps unique to us. Curiously, however, this may not be so random or uncommon. Let’s dive deeper into what science and psychology have to say.

Scientific Explanation

Here’s where it gets more fascinating! Some propose that the parasympathetic nervous system, regulating bodily functions such as urination, also influences tear production leading to the shedding of tears while peeing. This system kicks into high gear during certain activities, langurination being one of them, causing an increase in eye watering.

However, it’s essential to note that this isn’t backed by extensive research, and different people might experience it due to varying physiological responses.

Psychological Explanation

From a psychological standpoint, some theories suggest an association with relief or subconscious emotional responses. The act of urination can sometimes induce a feeling of relief, especially if you’ve been “holding it in” for a while. This relief could trigger an emotional response, leading to the watering of eyes.

Yet, as with the scientific explanation, this theory isn’t universally accepted and varies depending on individuals, implying the need for further research and understanding. Take these perspectives with a grain of salt, and remember, every human body is unique in its reaction to different situations.

Interesting Facts and Figures About Tear Production

The mystery of “why do I cry when I pee” grows even more fascinating when we look at the details of tear production. After all, tears are far more than just salty water. They serve as a valuable defense mechanism and an important aspect of our health.

The composition of tears is a delicate balance of water, proteins, lipids, metabolites, and electrolytes. The human body is a tear-manufacturing marvel, producing, on average, 15 to 30 gallons of tears per year to maintain optimum eye health.

Tears are also known to contain lysozymes, an antibacterial enzyme that keeps the surface of eyes clean and sterilized. Isn’t it incredible how the body constantly works to protect us in ways we barely even realize?

Thinking about the meticulous process that goes into the making of each tear drop, it’s no wonder our system sometimes overdoes it, leading to the perplexing phenomenon of tearing up when we pee.

While not all of us might have experienced such a reaction, it’s a clear reminder that our bodies can display a range of fascinating quirks. It highlights the beauty of its interconnected systems and the thrilling world of human physiology where certain sequences result in not-so-common reactions like tears when you feel the urge to urinate.

Exploring Common Concerns

Eyes watering while you pee can raise quite a few eyebrows and lead to a string of questions. Is it something to worry about? When should you seek medical attention? Let’s address these common concerns.

Is It a Medical Concern?

The good news is, in most cases, the answer is no. Occasional eye watering isn’t likely a sign of a serious health problem, even if it does occur during urination. It’s fairly normal, especially if it’s occasional or doesn’t cause discomfort.

However, if the watering is excessive, causes a stinging sensation, or comes with other symptoms like redness or blurred vision, it’s best to consult with a healthcare provider to rule out any potential eye conditions.

When Should You Seek Medical Attention?

As mentioned earlier, occasional tearing isn’t usually a sign of something serious. But always listen to your body. Seek medical attention if the following symptoms accompany the tearing:

  • Persistent or recurring eye watering
  • Blurred vision
  • Excruciating or constant eye pain
  • Noticeable change in the quality or quantity of tears

Remember, everybody is different. What one person experiences might be different from another. When it comes to health concerns, it’s always better to be proactive and get medical advice whenever necessary.

Expert Advice on Eye Watering During Urination

While occasional eye watering during urination is typically harmless, it’s always wise to have professional opinions within reach. Here’s what some experts suggest about the issue.

Tips From Ophthalmologists

Ophthalmologists typically advise against neglecting eye health. Prolonged discomfort or changes in tear production are strong prompts to consult an eye-care professional. Additionally, using prescribed artificial tears or eye drops to alleviate dryness or occasional tear overflow may help. Always remember, your eyes are as unique as you, and treating them with care should be a priority.

Advice From Urologists

Urologists, on the other hand, could attribute this phenomenon to a hypersensitive bodily response to urination and suggest keeping an eye on any other urinary symptoms. If urination is frequent, comes with any pain or discomfort, or the urge is uncontrollable, a consultation with a healthcare professional should be the next step.

While this post explores one of the curious facets of the human body, it doesn’t replace the need for professional advice. Listening to your body and seeking medical help when it’s due should always be your first response.


And there we have it – a deep dive into the intriguing question of “why do I cry when I pee?“. From seemingly complex scientific explanations to psychological theories and statistics about tear production, we’ve traversed a faceted journey of discovery together.

While this gentle teardrop of knowledge accounts merely for one of the numerous mysteries our bodies hold, it’s a reminder of how profoundly fascinating and delightful human physiology can be.

Whether you’ve experienced this phenomenon or are just reading out of sheer curiosity, remember each of us is uniquely designed, with quirks that make us human. Both wisdom and whimsy can often be found in the most peculiar quirks. So, if your eyes feel the urge to shed a tear or two the next time nature calls, remember, you’re not alone, and your body is just showcasing one of the many, many peculiarities that set us apart in the animal kingdom. Embrace the mystery, and keep exploring the fascinating science behind the everyday!


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