eli5: Why do your eyes tear up when you drink something cold

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eli5: Why do your eyes tear up when you drink something cold

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Your ears, eyes, nose, and mouth share some basic plumbing. For example, your eyes contain drainage piping that allow your tears to drain into your throat. Your eyes constantly produce tears but you don’t notice because there is essentially a floor drain. When you make the piping cold (for example by drinking something cold) this causes the piping to get narrower, reducing it’s ability to drain your tears. The tears will start to back up into your eyes and “tear up”, even though you’re not actively producing more tears the result is the same.