Eye discharge, commonly referred to as "eye boogers," is not only gross but also frustrating. We've all experienced it at one point or another, but why does it happen? In this article, we'll explore the different causes of eye discharge and what you can do to prevent it from happening in the future.
The Basics: What is Eye Discharge?
Before we delve into the root causes of eye discharge, let's take a moment to understand what it actually is. Essentially, eye discharge is any material that comes out of your eyes that isn't tears. This material can be clear or cloudy and may vary in thickness depending on its cause.
Is All Eye Discharge Created Equal?
Nope! There are various types of eye discharge that could indicate different issues with your eye health:
- Clear: This type of eye discharge usually just means that your eyes are producing an excess amount of tears.
- Cloudy or yellowish-green: If you notice this kind of eye gunk building up on your eyelids or lashes when you wake up every morning (or throughout the day), it likely indicates an issue like pink eye or conjunctivitis.
- Thick and crusty: Crusty buildup around your eyes upon waking could suggest chronic dryness due to poor tear production (Note: Yes, poor tear production sounds like something straight outta My Strange Addiction!).
Now onto what really matters - why does this pesky phenomenon happen?
Reasons Why Your Eyes Are Gunky
There exist numerous possible reasons why our bodies produce excessive amounts of mucus-like debris from our peepers which include;
Allergies Run Amok
The human body reacts differently towards allergens such as pollen disturbing some peoples' respiratory systems as seen through coughing among other bodily reactions while others develop symptoms related explicitly to the eyes. Eye discharges are one of those symptoms as your immune system fights the allergens, causing excess secretion of mucus.
Factors that Trigger Conjunctivitis
Another reason for eye discharge is pink eye which like allergies involves an overtaxed immune system battling viruses or bacteria causing the inflammation and redness associated with conjunctivitis. These infections cause a buildup of thick goo similar to other sicknesses like sinus infection producing increased drainage from ones nasal cavities.
Okay, we're not saying that you have delusions of grandeur (unless you specifically do). Rather, any obstruction/stuff/blockage in/near our tear ducts might result in mucus buildup creating obstacles necessitating increased production activity resulting in more mucous discharged from our baby blues.
The Aging Process Wreaks Havoc on Tear Production
As if it was not enough having age-related issues start cropping up left and right; now senior citizens also experience less tear flow as they get older! Lack of sufficient moisture can lead to high amounts of crust build-up and lid sticking when resting or opening - what fun!
Prevention Hacks & Management Tips
We’ve discussed numerous ways various conditions may be linked with excessive eye booger/sleep/gunk/pus/matter/secretion production so let's take a minute to consider preventive measures;
Do Not – I Repeat – DO NOT Touch Your Eyes!
Most ocular problems occur after rubbing one’s eyes due to improperly washed hands transfering unwelcome pathogens into sensitive areas around soft tissues using potentially harmful sodium laureth sulfate used in certain personal care products (SLS-free Shampoo all day errday!).
Maintain Proper Hygiene Practices Always
Refrain from sharing towels or linens avoiding cross-contamination at all costs (literally use alllll those disinfectant wipes). Also, always make sure that eyeglasses/contacts are properly handled and always sterilized.
Visit Your Ophthalmologist
The best way to protect one's delicate eyes is by scheduling frequent visits with an experienced medical professional like ophthalmologists or optometrists which significantly reduces the likelihood of early detection problems escalating into serious concerns. Most regular check-ups detect problems in many stages, preventing future occurrences from cropping up.
When it’s Time to See a Doctor
Now you may be wondering when it might be time to see a medical expert regarding your naughty little boogers (haha). Here are some general signs showing its high clock-time for an appointment;
- Extreme redness
- Sudden loss/change in vision accompanied by discharge
- Severe headaches/pain around one or both eyes
- Excess discharge lasting more than 2 weeks despite home care/treatment
When these symptoms appear, this is the point where your health takes precedence over pride – visiting either an ophthalmologist/optometrist will help you find routes such as: changes within diet, prescribing specialized medicine or treatments (where necessary).
Eye discharge isn’t always associated with something terrible; sometimes simple things like allergies could result in excessive gunk production. Still, understanding how and why problems arise can play quite an important part in finding effective solutions; probably after shedding tears trying different approaches (pun intended). Remembering hygiene practices & keeping handy disinfectants whether on-the-go or at home every once in a while won’t hurt!
We hope various eye booger/sleep/gunk prevention hacks and management tips noted above shed light on next steps!