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Why do we get a runny nose after we cry? © Getty Images

Why do we get a runny nose after we cry?

Asked by: Anna Zamojska, London

A runny nose is a side effect of many things: a cold wind, a hot curry, bonfire smoke, and a good cry. The common denominator with all these is that they make your eyes water.


Your eyes have tiny drain holes, called lacrimal puncta, located in the inner corners of your upper and lower eyelids. These connect to your nose via channels called the ‘lacrimal canaliculi’, so any tears that don’t run down your face will dribble into your nose.

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Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.


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