Discharge from the eyes comprises of oil, mucus, skin cells and other debris which builds up when you sleep. The discharge may be sticky and gooey or dry and hard, depending upon how much of the fluid is there in the secretion.
Mucus from the eye has a protective function; it helps get rid of the injurious waste products from the front of your eyes.
When you sleep and do not blink, the discharge builds up and crusts in the corners of the eyes. Some amount of discharge in the eyes when you get up is normal; on the other hand, excessive amounts of discharge, more so, if it’s green or yellow in color and is accompanied by discomfort, pain, blurring of vision or too much sensitivity, needs an ophthalmologist’s opinion.
What Causes Excessive Mucus In The Eye?
Normal amount of secretion from the eye is essential for good eye health. The discharge chiefly comprises of thin, watery mucus and meibum – i.e. the oily substance that keeps your eyes lubricated between blinks. However, in case the secretion is profuse and is causing you discomfort, you need to confer with your health care provider.
- Conjunctivitis: When the conjunctiva gets irritated and inflamed, there will be copious amounts of mucus secretion.
- Blepharitis: A chronic disorder of the eyelids, it is characterized by inflammation of the eyelash hair follicles or due to an anomalous production of oil from the Meibomian glands.
- Stye: When a Meibomian gland gets clogged, a stye is formed.
- Dry eyes: When you have an inadequate production of tears or some dysfunction of the Meibomian glands, you will develop dry eyes. Consequently, the eyes are not sufficiently lubricated and they become irritated and inflamed.
- Contact lenses: Those who wear contact lenses, tend to find more mucus than normal. This could be due to contact lenses-related discomfort.
- Trauma to the eye: When a foreign body such as dust, sand, debris or a chemical substance gets in to your eye, the eye gets injured and causes it to secrete mucus as a protective response.
- Corneal ulcer: Is an abscess in the cornea of your eye and can impair vision; it usually occurs due to trauma or an untreated eye infection.
- Dacryocystitis: When a tear duct gets occluded, the lacrimal sac leading to the nose may get inflamed and eventually infected.
Signs And Symptoms Of Mucus In Eye
- Conjunctivitis – Your eye turns pink and itchy, there will be sensation of and in the eyes. The discharge may be transparent or yellowish. In some cases, eyelid crusting may be too severe, and it seals your eyes shut temporarily.
- Blepharitis – The eyelids become red and itchy. There is profuse secretion of mucus and the eyes look swollen and puffy.
- Stye – Resembles a pimple on the eyelid margin and is characterized by pain, yellow pus, and intense discomfort while blinking.
- Dry eyes – Red, bloodshot eyes, burning, itching, and blurry vision along with a watery discharge.
- Contact lenses – Can make your eyes dry and irritated and cause excessive secretion.
- Eye trauma – There will be pain in the eye, along with a lot of pus and blood. All eye injuries are a medical emergency.
- Corneal ulcer – Redness, swollen eyelids and thick eye discharge. Corneal ulcers could affect vision permanently.
- Dacrocystitis – Is seen as a bump under the inner eyelid. There will be redness, pain and a watery discharge.
Home Remedies For Mucus In Eyes
- A small amount of discharge is perfectly normal, if it bothers you, use a clean cotton swab and clean your eyes well with warm water twice a day for a couple of days.
- In case of an eye infection, your ophthalmologist will prescribe antibiotic eye drops to manage the condition.
- Eye allergies are managed with anti-histamines.
- Warm compresses help allay symptoms of itching, redness, pain and general eye discomfort, as well as get rid of the eye mucus.
- Honey is an excellent home remedy for most eye condition. Take 2 to 3 spoons of honey; dilute with a little distilled water and instill in your eyes. A word of caution though, honey can sting your eyes and make them burn, but that resolves in about 5 minutes.
- Refrain from touching your eyes; that spreads the infection.
- Wash your hands frequently, especially if you have a contagious eye infection.
- In case you have profuse secretion whilst wearing contacts, remove your lenses and see your eye doctor.
- If you have an eye infection, discard contaminated cosmetics such as eyeliner and mascara.
- If an allergy is the cause of your watery eyes, you need to look into your environment and try to identify and diminish your exposure to the offending agent.