Identifying Types of Eye Mucus
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What is this stuff, and where does it come from? That crust is a type of rheum, a thin mucus naturally discharged from our eyes, noses and mouths. Rheum is made up of mucus, skin cells, oils and dust. It dries out and hardens, leaving you looking like you face planted in a sandcastle sometime during the night. A number of conditions — from overactive oil glands to blocked tear ducts — can lead to obscene amounts of gound buildup, sometimes to the point where it prevents people from opening their eyes. If your experience with bears is largely limited to reading Winnie the Pooh as a kid, you might think that these fuzzy mammals will do anything to get their gigantic paws on a jar of honey.
Eye discharge, or "sleep" in your eyes, is a combination of mucus, oil, skin cells and other debris that accumulates in the corner of your eye while you sleep. It can be wet and sticky or dry and crusty, depending on how much of the liquid in the discharge has evaporated. Other slang terms used to describe eye discharge include eye mattering, eye gunk, eye pus and goopy eyes. Sometimes called "rheum," eye discharge has a protective function, removing waste products and potentially harmful debris from the tear film and the front surface of your eyes. Your eyes produce mucus throughout the day, but a continuous thin film of tears bathes your eyes when you blink, flushing out the rheum before it hardens in your eyes. When you're asleep — and not blinking — eye discharge collects and crusts in the corners of your eyes and sometimes along the lash line, hence the term "sleep" in your eyes. Some sleep in your eyes upon waking is normal, but excessive eye discharge, especially if it's green or yellow in color and accompanied by blurry vision , light sensitivity or eye pain, can indicate a serious eye infection or eye disease and should be promptly examined by your eye doctor.
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Rheum is basically a mucus-based discharge that builds up in your eyes as you sleep, JP Maszczak, O. This happens as an extension of your normal eye function. Your eyes are constantly bathed in a tear film that helps them stay moisturized and allows you to see as best you can, according to the National Eye Institute. Rheum is mostly made up of that mucus, though it also contains some water, oil, and skin cells, Sajeev Kathuria, M. Kathuria explains. When exposed to air for long periods of time, it will harden, forming little balls of crust. Kathuria says.
Do you ever wonder about the crusty stuff in the corners of your eyes when you wake up in the morning? Do you ever contemplate the crusty substance that collects in the inner corners of your eyes or that sometimes is sticking to your lashes when you wake up in the morning? Is it normal? Does it ever signal a problem? Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission.
What causes eye boogers?
Goop, eye boogers, eye gunk - Rheum from the eyes is particularly common. Dried rheum is commonly called sleep ,  sleepy-seeds ,  sleepy buds ,  sleepy sand , sleepers , eye crust , eye goop , cheese , eye boogers , dream candy , winkies , goggles , or sleepy dust.