What Are Eye Boogers?
Eye booger is a term used to describe mucus build up in the eyes. Mucus produced by the eyes helps in protecting the eyes from harmful chemicals, dirt and other foreign materials. Eye boogers are generally harmless; however, changes in the colour or content of the discharge can indicate health concerns. The mucus discharged by the eyes may dry up and leave behind a sludgy substance. This is often called as having ‘sleep’ in the eyes.
Mucus or rheum is secreted by the eyes throughout the day. However, during the day, due to frequent blinking this secretion goes unnoticed. At night, blinking motion is limited because of which there is mucus build up, especially near the corner of the eyes, along the eyelashes and near the tear duct.
How To Get Rid of Eye Boogers?
In most of the cases, presence of eye boogers indicates normal functioning of eyes with ability to protect the eyes from dirt and other foreign debris. In case of excessive discharge or change in colour or consistency of the mucus, immediate medical help may be needed. Eye boogers with other symptoms such as redness of eyes, blurred vision, pain in the eye, photosensitivity etc. may indicate presence of other eye issues and need specific treatment. Some of the common methods used for getting rid of eye boogers are discussed below:
Maintaining Good Eye Hygiene: It is advised to keep the eyes clean and practice good eye hygiene to avoid accumulation of foreign materials in the eye. It is very important to remove eye make-up at night before sleeping. Other precautionary measure includes avoiding usage of expired eye make-up and refraining from sharing eye make up with other people. Wiping the eyes with a warm washcloth helps in removing debris from the eyes and getting rid of eye boogers. Washing the eye with mild baby shampoo is also helpful.
Personal Hygiene: It is also important to wash hands frequently and avoid touching the eyes too frequently. This is more important in cases of any underlying issues such as infection or pink eyes. Personal items such as towels, eye wears and wash clothes should not be shared.
Eye Drops for Getting Rid of Eye Boogers: Individuals with dry eyes can consider using eye drops for keeping the eyes moist and irritation free. It is recommended to consult an eye specialist before using any eye drops.
Contact Lenses: Individuals who wears contact lenses should take extra care to avoid the chances of infection or contamination in the eyes. Contact lenses should be strictly removed at night and should not be worn for more than 8 hours at a stretch. Expired contact lenses and lens solution should be discarded. Care should be taken to clean and disinfect the lenses before and after wearing them. As with any other eye products, contact lenses should not be shared. Replacing the storage case regularly is also very important.
Warm Compress: People, who notice thick eye boogers in the morning, can apply warm compresses over the eyes for 3 – 5 minutes after waking up. This helps in softening the eye boogers and makes it easier to clean the eyes. In case of eyelids being stuck to each other, it is recommended to wet the eyes with a warm wash cloth to loosen the eyelids.
Allergy: If eye discharge is aggravated due to allergies, it is advised to investigate and point out the causative agent and limit exposure to the allergen in future.
Medications: In case if eye boogers are caused due to other eye issues, medical attention is needed to treat the underlying condition. Medications such as antibiotic, antiviral, or antihistamine may be prescribed based on the cause.
Eye Massages: Gentles eye massages over the eyelids with a downward motion helps in pushing out excess oil. This can be then wiped off with a clean cloth.