By Medicover Hospitals / 10 Mar 2021
Eye discharge, or "sleep" in the eyes, is a combination of mucus, oil, skin cells, and other debris that collects in the corner of the eye while you sleep. Depending on how much moisture has evaporated through the discharge, it may be moist and oily, or dry and crunchy. Sometimes called rheum, the eye discharge has a protective function, removing potentially harmful waste products and debris from the tear film and the front surface of the eyes. Your eyes produce mucus throughout the day, but a thin, continuous film of tears bathes your eyes when you blink, flushing out the rheum before it hardens in your eyes.
- What Is Eye Discharge?
- Types of Eye Discharge
- When to visit a Doctor?
What Is Eye Discharge?
Eye discharge is the secretion of fluids or other substances, besides tears, from the eyes. The discharge from the eyes can make it difficult to open the eyelids if they have been closed for long periods, such as during sleep. This effect can be temporary or persistent. Depending on the underlying source, eye discharge can differ in color and consistency. Most secretions will be clear, green, or yellow in color and can vary in consistency from a liquid to a sticky, gel-like substance. Eye discharge can be caused by a wide variety of conditions that directly affect the eye or by conditions that affect the entire body, such as the common cold. Eye discharge is usually caused by allergies or infections. Although most causes of eye discharge are not significant, if you have chronic or extreme eye discharge, such as a discharge that makes it hard to open your eyes, you can call your healthcare provider. Eye discharge is not a dangerous problem in most cases.
Types of eye discharge include:
- Conjunctivitis or pink eye: Viral conjunctivitis makes the eye red and irritated. The discharge may appear in green, white, or yellow. Some people feel like something is caught in the eye. This can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or an allergic reaction.
- Bacterial conjunctivitis or other eye infections: Certain types of conjunctivitis require antibiotics and are bacterial. These infections can make the eye pink and swollen, painful, and can cause fever.
- Stye or chalazion: Styes and chalazion are blocked glands in the eyelids. They usually cause swelling or a lump.
- Eye Injury: An injury to the eye, such as a scratched cornea, can cause the eye to become swollen and itchy. It might feel like there is something in your eye. If the lesion becomes infected, there may be a thick discharge.
- A blocked tear duct: This can cause thick, sticky eye mucus and can be painful.
- An object in the eye: Contact lenses can dry out and get stuck in the eye and can roll near the top of the eyelid. The eye may even become irritated by an eyelash or another tiny thing. The eye will become very watery and sensitive and may be sensitive to light and produce mucus.
This is a bacterial infection of the eye. The main symptom is the eyelids stuck with pus after sleep. It can be present in 1 or both eyes. Some viruses can cause pus in the eyes, but most cannot.
This is a viral eye infection. The major sign is the pink color of the whites of the eyes. The eyes are also watery. Most often, there is no pus. Usually on both sides.
A small amount of dry mucus only in the corner of the eye. It may not even be pus. A collection of mucus can be cream-colored. Often due to an irritant that got into the eye with dirty hands. It doesn't need any treatment except cleaning it with warm water.
Lacrimal duct blocked:
Present in 10% of newborns. The major symptom is a constant watery eye. Tears fill the eyes and run down the face. And when you are not crying, something happens. The eye is not swollen and there is no swelling of the eyelid. The wet eye can get secondary infections. This will cause the eyelids to fill with pus.
Foreign Objects in The Eye (severe):
Small particles like sand, dirt, or sawdust can get into the eyes. Sand often sticks under the upper eyelid. If it is not removed, the eye reacts by producing pus. The main clue is an eye infection that does not respond to antibiotic drops.
Cellulitis of the eyelid (severe):
This is a deep infection of the eyelid and surrounding tissues. The major symptom is a red, swollen, and very tender eyelid. Because of swelling, the eye may be closed. Typically, on one hand only. This may be a bacterial conjunctivitis-induced problem. The eye infection spreads inward. Most commonly, this is caused by an infection of the ethmoid sinus.
A small amount of eye discharge is benign, but see the eye doctor if you find differences in color, frequency, consistency, and amount. If an eye infection causes eye mucus, your eye doctor may prescribe antibiotics or antiviral eye drops and ointments. If eye allergies cause watering and irritation in your eyes, decongestants and over-the-counter antihistamine eye drops can relieve symptoms. Warm compresses placed over the eyes can help relieve symptoms of itching and general discomfort in the eyes, and help clear eye discharge. If your eyelids are stuck together, the best way to "peel" them is to dip a washcloth in hot water and place it over your eyes for a few minutes, before gently wiping the discharge.
When to visit a Doctor?
You should see your doctor if your eye discharge becomes excessive or does not improve after a week. In more severe cases, your eye discharge can occur with other signs like pain and vision problems.
- The eyelid is very red or very swollen.
- Vision is blurry
- The pain or discomfort in the eyes is more than mild
- A fever over 104 ° F (40 ° C)
- Age less than 12 weeks with fever.
- You think your child needs to be seen and the problem is urgent
- Pus in the eye, but none of the above symptoms
- Using antibiotic eye drops for over 3 days and there is still pus
- Good eye hygiene, which includes removing makeup at night and keeping your eyes clean by wiping them with a clean, warm cloth, can help reduce eye discharge.
- In people with dry eyes, eye drops can also help. Eye drops of different brands are available online, although it is recommended to speak with a doctor before purchasing to ensure the product is safe to use.
- People with contact lenses who want to reduce their mucus in their eyes should remove their lenses at night. They should also replace their contact lenses as directed by their eye doctor and use the proper solutions to clean their lenses.
- Some people notice more mucus in their eyes after sleeping. A warm compress placed over the eyes for 3 to 5 minutes can help loosen mucus.
- If there is enough discharge to make the eyelids stick together in the morning, a person should speak to an eye doctor to rule out infection.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Mucus can appear in the eye for many reasons, such as irritation and infection. Sometimes when a person wipes mucus out of the eye, the eye becomes irritated and causes more mucus to develop.
The correct name for him is rheum, but he probably calls him to sleep. You may spot cream-colored snot from time to time.
Eye discharge is often associated with a bacterial or viral infection of the conjunctiva, the thin protective layer of the eye.
Eye discharge can be white, yellow, or green. Yellow or green discharge typically means that the eye is contaminated with a bacterial infection. The bacterial infection needs to be checked out by a doctor and may require prescription drugs or eye drops. The white discharge is probably not an infection.
Jumper - https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%252FBF00235447
Jumper - https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/1756-0500-7-292
AAFP - https://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/0115/p137.html