By: Hassaan Javaid
A combination of oil, dead skin cells, mucus and other debris which is collected at corner of the eye when asleep is referred to as ‘eye discharge’ or ‘sleep in the eyes’. Depending on the percentage of liquid that has been evaporated from the discharge, it can be in the form of wet and sticky or crusty and dry.
Also referred to rheum, eye discharge has a protective function in a way that it helps in removal of the waste products and potentially harmful debris from the retinal surface and the tear film. Your eyes produce mucus all day long but when blinked, a continuous thin film of tears cleanses it by flushing out the rheum before it hardens.
While some sleep in the eyes has a normal texture on waking up but, excessive and colored discharge (green or dark yellow) accompanied by photophobia (light sensitivity), pain and blurry vision is an indication of a serious eye infection that requires immediate examination by the doctor. If ignored for a longer duration, it can lead to cornea transplant in Dubai following serious damage to the eye.
Causes of Discharge
Although sleep in the eyes isn’t alarming, difference in the consistency, colour and amount of eye gunk is a symptom of eye infection or disease. Common conditions linked to abnormal eye discharge include:
Pink eye or conjunctivitis is a common cause of eye discharge. Inflammation of the conjunctiva (thin membrane lining the sclera) and inner eyelid surface triggers pink eye anomaly. Besides gritty, itchy, red and irritated eyes, conjunctivitis is accompanied by yellow, green or white mucus which is caked on the eyelashes when asleep. In some cases, it can be severe enough to seal the eyes shut momentarily or unless you gently clean the gunk.
Inflammation of the eyelash hair cavities/follicles or abnormal generation of oil from meibomian glands at the inner eyelids edge is chronic eyelid disorder which refers to blepharitis. Foamy eye discharge accompanied by conditions similar to that of conjunctivitis is a symptom of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD).
Infection of the eyelash follicle that clogs the meibomian gland at the eyelid’s base refers to a stye. Also termed as All you should know about ‘Eye Discharge (Sleep in your eyes)’; it resembles to a pimple on the eyelid margin with swollen eyelids, redness and sensitivity in the affected area. Occurrence of eyelid crust, yellow discharge and blinking discomfort can be associated. Though eye stye self-dissipates, avoid squeezing the pus else it might spread the infection to other areas of the eyes.
Dysfunction of meibomian glands and insufficient tear production results in dry eye syndrome; a chronic condition in which eye surface isn’t properly lubricated which further leads to irritation and inflammation. Dry eye symptoms include bloodshot eyes, burning sensation, blurry vision and foreign body sensation.
A sight-threatening and blister-like infection of the cornea due to trauma or untreated eye infection risks in ‘corneal ulcer’. Deliberately delaying the treatment or ignorance may result in complete vision loss or may need cornea transplant in Dubai .