Why Onions Hassle Women More Than Men: And How to Stop the Tears

Man cutting onions

So it’s annoying isn’t it?

Your eyes stream when you slice through those onions.

Every time.

And as your eyes fill, it’s harder to see, so you s l o w d o w n,

Which is worse, because you just want to get it over with.

Why is this?

When you cut through onions, it starts a number of chemical reactions which results in a gas that irritates the eyes.

Syn-propanethial-S-oxide, to be exact,

So why do you cry more than others?

Some people have better tears than others - a better more efficient tear quality.

A bit like how some people have a more moisturised skin.

So if you have a good quality tear film, it acts as a barrier to prevent much of the gas

from reaching the sensitive nerve cells on the front of your eye (the cornea).

The more gas that hits the nerve cells, the more likely your eyes will water.

Hormones affect the tear film quality.

Be it during pregnancy, menopause, or the natural changes in your monthly cycle

The shift in hormones results in a poorer tear film.

And that means, less protection against that onion.