Hayden Optometric Inc.
94 N Main St Mansfield MA 02048 +1 508-339-3952
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(508) 406-9342

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Mansfield, MA

508-339-3952

Why Does Chopping Onions Drive Us To Tears?

Tears and a runny nose? Looks like that recipe called for freshly chopped onion! What is it about onions that sends our tear ducts into overdrive?

Onions Are Full Of Sulfur

As onions grow, they absorb sulfur from the soil. Onions also contain special enzymes that lie in reserve, ready to break down those sulfurous molecules.

The sulfurous molecules and enzymes remain separated until that first chop, when the sulfur and enzymes combine in a reaction that creates sulfenic acid. This acid quickly evaporates into a gas, which wafts up into our eyes.

The Science

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Our Eyes Tear Up To Protect Themselves

Our eyes produces three types of tears—emotional, basal, and reflexive. You know what emotional tears are. Basal tears account for the constant moisture protecting and lubricating. Onions trigger reflexive tears, an automatic defense mechanism.

When acidic vapors reach our eyes, our brain interprets it as a burning sensation and tears spike to wash out the irritant.

Some Tips To Minimize The Tears

Next time you cook with onion, try these tips to keep your eyes clear as you cook that amazing meal:

  • Refrigerate the onion before you cut it, suppressing chemical reactions.
  • Wear eye protection like a pair of goggles.
  • Cut the onion under water.
  • Chop near a vent, or a pot of boiling water, which can dissipate the irritating gas.
  • Use a sharper knife. Cutting instead of crushing releases less vapor.
  • Learn to cut the onion quicker, minimizing exposure time (see video below).

Chop Like A Pro To Minimize Tear Time!

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Our Eyes Have Amazing Defenses

The more people know about their eyes, the more they respect the incredible things eyes can do. It’s always our goal to help protect your vision by providing the best diagnosis, treatment, and preventive care.

Thanks for being part of our practice family! We appreciate having you as our valued patient and friend.

Top image by Flickr user Sjaak used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

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Visit Us in Mansfield, MA

Discover everything our practice has to offer in person at our Main Street location.

Address

94 N Main St
Mansfield, MA 02048

Contact Information

Phone: 508-339-3952
Fax: +1 (508) 339-6907
  • Monday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Tuesday: 9:00am - 6:30pm
  • Wednesday: 9:00am - 4:00pm
  • Thursday: 9:00am - 6:30pm
  • Friday: 9:00am - 3:00pm
  • Saturday: 8:30am - 11:30am
  • Sunday: Closed
Request Appointment

Why Choose Hayden Optometric?

Our Brands

Our Brands

Your eyes are unique, and so is your sense of style, which is why selecting your frames and lenses is a very personal choice. Your frames should fit your sense of style, and your lenses should suit your vision needs. Hayden Optometric Inc. is proud to offer a wide variety of brands so that we can help you find the frames and lenses that best suit your needs and style.

We're Revolutionizing Eye Care

We're Revolutionizing Eye Care

Hayden Optometric wants to be a thought leader in the eye health industry. We are always dedicated to making life better for our patients. In fact, our own Dr. Joel Hayden has leveraged his knowledge as an optometrist and nutritionist to develop his own line of eye wipes and fish oil to bolster your eye health.

HALT

HALT

Dr. Hayden is also the founder of HALT Myopia; the Hayden Advanced Lens Therapy System. Designed for nearsighted kids, HALT Myopia has been called “LASIK for kids,” only without lasers, scalpels, pain, recovery, or risk of overcorrection.

Read more about HALT and other methods of myopia control.

The Future of Eye Health Technology

The Future of Eye Health Technology

We really value innovation. That’s why we rely on some of the most advanced technology available to help us examine, diagnose, and treat all of our patients. When you choose Hayden Optometric, you know you’re getting some of the most state-of-the-art equipment the industry has to offer.

Hayden Optometric is powered by WellFed Nutrition.

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