Eye mucus, like any other discharge, is an icky subject, being given less-than-charming nicknames like “eye gunk” or “eye boogers.” Eye mucus is a sticky, yellow substance that collects in the corner of your eyes or along your eyelashes. A low level of eye discharge is normal, but higher amounts can be irritating and indicate a problem in your eye. So, what are the signs that something is wrong, and what exactly do they mean?
Normal eye mucus is a combination of a watery film called rheum, oil, skin cells, and other debris that accumulates in your eye. Typically, this is cleared away by your natural tear production and blinking during the day. At night, when you are not blinking, this mucus tends to collect in the corners of the eyes, resulting in the “sleep in your eyes” or “sleepy bugs” that are commonly found in the morning after waking up.
A common cause of excess eye mucus is conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. This is caused by inflammation of the conjunctiva, the glands that produce the rheum fluid in your eyes, and is typically due to either a viral or bacterial infection. Other symptoms of conjunctivitis are sore or itchy eyes, and the characteristic red veins that give eyes their pink appearance from a distance.
Another cause of extra eye mucus is blepharitis, or inflammation of the eyelid. Blepharitis may be caused by many conditions, including bacterial or viral infections, blockages in the meibomian glands, which produce a protective lipid layer over the eyes, and infestation with Demodex mites. Demodex mites, also known as eyelash mites, are actually present in most people, but can trigger eye irritations and disorders when they become overpopulated.
Finally, allergies and reactions to environmental factors such as pollutants, makeup, or contact lenses may be causing extra mucus production as these can cause your eye to increase its natural means of removing irritants.
Well what are we supposed to do? Proper hygiene is the answer. Our lids are the least cleanest area on our body as we never properly clean our lids. The best way to clean your lids is to you a lid scrub. Lid scrubs come in foam and wipes and take seconds to use. Like brushing our teeth lets make cleaning our eye lids a part of our daily routine.