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You might be thinking, “Ew, how gross,” but at the same time, you’re also curious. What is it, exactly, that brings ‘sleepy sand’ every morning at the corner of your eye? Well, this substance is actually the result of your tears. Whether you cry or not, throughout the day, your tears keep the mucus, dead skin cells, bacteria, and oils diluted in your eye. You could say that your tears are protecting your eyes from any sort of inflation. When you’re asleep, and your eyelids close, your tears seep towards to corner of your eye and dry up. This is why you wake up with eye boogers.

Having them is not unnatural, everyone gets them. However, too much discharge, especially during the day, can mean differently.

Here are some examples:

An Eye Infection

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Inflammation of the lids or the eyes can cause more discharge than usual. You might wake up to find it cementing your eye. If your eyelashes are matted and you’re having difficulty opening your eye, see a doctor. Warm compresses, eye sanitation liquids or baby shampoo can also help.

Allergies

Allergies that affect your eyes, make your discharge stringy and wet. This is caused by irritation of the eyes. If dust or pollution makes your eyes uncomfortable, you could use an air purifier or just keep the windows shut at home. To stop the discharge, over-the-counter eye drops can help.

Wearing Contact Lenses

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Lenses irritate the exterior of your eye. Your contacts are prone to carry bacteria, dust, and other eye pollutants. Old/overused contacts alert your eyes with itchiness and discharge, telling you to get new ones.

Pink Eye

Pink eye or conjunctivitis can happen when your eye’s connective tissue gets inflamed by bacteria and cause redness for days. This comes with minor pain, light sensitivity and of course, excessive discharge. See a doctor if you’ve got Pink Eye.

A Simple Cold

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Viral Infections, like the common cold, can cause moist discharge because it relates to all the mucus tissues in your head. The discharge should decrease as your cold gets better but if it’s turning green, see a doctor. It could hint at a sinus infection.

Dry Eyes

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Dry Eyes can be the main cause of wet eyes. What a paradox!

If your Lacrimal gland, the producer of your tears, is inefficient, then your eyes dry up. When neuro-signals reach your gland, it suddenly panics and starts flooding your eyes before relaxing. Again, your eye dries and the episode repeats, causing more tears to come out. You can use artificial tears for dry eyes.

A Plugged Gland

Aside from tears, your eyelids have openings that also produce a discharge. These openings are called Puncta. Clogging of the puncta, or their tubes can bring tears. It is usually normal for children to have this problem but for adults, if it persists, then they might need to see a doctor.

If your eyes bring an abundant amount of discharge that is making you uncomfortable, or one/both of your eyes are red, it’s an indication that you need medical help. Eye pain or a difference in vision can come along with discharge, which is also not normal.  Discharge, if not handled properly, can also cause inflammation. Eye boogers are waste that you need riddance of.

Keep Your Eyes Clean

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Do not touch or rub your eyes frequently. If it’s a habit, make sure you wash your hands enough times. You can also use hot/warm wet towels to gently press on your eye and wipe the discharge. If you wear contacts, allow your eyes to breathe from time-to-time. It is strongly advised that eye make-up should be cleaned thoroughly before sleep and should be avoided during an eye infection. If you are careful about the tidiness of your eye, you shouldn’t be worried about discharge.

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