You know that stuff you wake up with in the corners of your eyes? Some might call it sleep, eye boogers, mattering, or just plain old crusty stuff. Whatever you call it, most of us have it in the morning, so what is it exactly?
This discharge, known as rheum, is nothing more than a combination of mucus, oil, dead skin cells and other debris such as makeup or dust that accumulates in the corners of the eyes and lash lines while you sleep. Normally we remove excess mucus, oil and debris after each blink, preventing them from accumulating. However, we aren’t blinking while we sleep, which means that the debris forms the eye boogers we find in the morning.
Sometimes people mistake this crusty stuff as discharge from an infection. While a little mucus in the morning is normal, there may be something else going on if the consistency or amount changes. There are different types of discharge with different causes. Conditions like conjunctivitis (pink eye), blepharitis, sties and dry eye can all produce discharge along with other symptoms. You should schedule an appointment with your eye care professional if you experience any out-of-the-ordinary symptoms.
From the eye doctors, opticians and staff at Rinkov Eyecare Centers. We’ve provided comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses, eyeglasses, sunglasses and medical treatment of eye disease such as cataract treatment in Columbus, Ohio, for over 35 years. Come see an optometrist at one of our Columbus locations – Downtown, West, East, Westerville, Dublin, Bexley, Worthington and Nationwide Plaza.