It's not a particularly sad or painful thing to pluck a few nose hairs, but it's common for the tear ducts to wet up when doing this.

I would like to know the physiological reason for the correlation, how/why are the tear ducts and nose hairs related in the human body?


Although I'm not sure, here's a working theory. The tear collection ducts feed into the nose. That's why when you cry you have a runny nose. When you pluck nose hairs you irritate the nasal mucosa, so that causes a reflex which attempts to flush out whatever might be causing a problem.

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    $\begingroup$ It might be an overstimulation of the sneeze reflex neural circuit, which causes tearing instead of sneezing. I do get a feeling similar to the "I'm about to sneeze" along with lacrimation. $\endgroup$ – Armatus May 29 '13 at 21:37

Also, tears are an intrinsic pain response and considering the dermal-derivative nature of hair, there are loose nerve endings ensnaring the follicular area, so the sensory neurons detect pain and tears are a physical manifestation of the pain, cuing the body to avoid that stimulus again.

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    $\begingroup$ +1. Innervation of the nose is extremely sensitive. It's primarily a combination of this and what Armatus said above, plus the fact that AndroidPenguin mentioned of the connection between the nose and tear ducts. $\endgroup$ – DoctorWhom May 6 '14 at 7:06

protected by AliceD Dec 28 '16 at 23:19

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