(Greek δακρυοαιμορρεειν dakryohaimorrheein
"to flow tears of blood": dakryo-
, "tears" + haima
, "blood" + rheein
, "to flow".)
from the tear duct
s while cry
ing; the discharge of tears mixed with blood.
Crying blood; bloody tears.
Whenever someone cries seemingly nonstop, you may have heard someone say "Well, he can't cry blood". Personally, I heard this said among my relatives quite a number of times when I was a teenager.
However, there was a moment in 1998 when I actually saw a little girl cry blood. The little girl was the niece of a college friend and classmate of mine. The little girl, about three years old at the time, developed a severe eye infection that lasted for days. Her family physician said that the bacteria infecting her eye caused hemmorhaging of the lacrimal sac (tear gland) in her left eye. Whenever she cried, as toddlers often do, I saw that the tears flowing from her left eye were red and bloody. The right eye cried normal tears since it was not infected, but a stream of red fluid was flowing out of the girl's left eye and down her left cheek, due to her left eye being infected. Once she stopped crying and her tears died up, red blood stains could be seen on her left cheek where her tears flowed. The young girl's dacryohemorrhea caused by bacterial infection was successfully treated with antibacterial drugs administered systemically and instilled into the lacrimal system. Her left eye gradually healed over a period of eight days.
I haven't seen anyone cry blood since that time, but I've heard that some people who suffer a black-eye from a 'knockout' punch experience dacryohemorrhea, as the force of the punch ruptures the lacrimal sac beneath their eye. I hope not to get a black-eye because, for one, I don't want to experience the eye pain, and, two, I hope never to experience "bloody tears".
Dacryohemorrhea can sometimes be seen in horror movies, such as The Omen III: The Final Conflict
. Toward the end of the movie, journalist Kate Reynolds (who has a relationship with Damien Thorn) visits the church to pray, and tears of blood flow from the statue of Jesus when Kate exits the church. There are a number of other horror movies that show statues with bloody tears flowing from the eyes.