FACT CHECK: Do Tears From Certain Eyes Have Different Meanings?

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims tears from the right eye reflect happiness while those from the left eye reflect pain.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence to support this claim, according to the Cleveland Clinic and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).

Fact Check:

The image shows a close-up photo of a person crying. “When a Person cries, if the first drop of the Tears come from the Right Eye, it’s Happiness,” the accompanying text claims. “But when the First Roll is from the Left Eye, It’s Pain. And when they drop from Both Eyes, it’s Frustration.”

There are three different types of tears, according to the Cleveland Eye Clinic: basal, emotional and reflex. Basal tears are constantly shed to protect the eye, emotional tears stem from overwhelming emotion and possibly stress chemicals and reflex tears are used to flush out or clean the eye, the clinic explains. (RELATED: Do You Die For A Millisecond When You Sneeze?)

Though emotional tears can be triggered by a broad range of emotions, including “physical pain; attachment-related pain; empathic, compassionate pain; societal pain and sentimental or moral feelings,” according to the AAO, the claim that specific emotions can cause tears to be shed in one eye and not the other is false. Check Your Fact found no credible news reports or scientific studies to support the claim. Neither the AAO’s website nor the Cleveland Eye Clinic’s website mention such a phenomenon.

An article from the Cleveland Clinic disputes the claim as not true. The AAO confirmed to Check Your Fact in an email, “We don’t have any scientific evidence to suggest that.”

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter