Dirt In The Eyes (Eye Boogers)

eye discharge (eye boogers)

What Is Eye Discharge?

Your eye produces tears and mucus continuously in order to function normally. Blinking of the eyes removes out all the excess mucus, dirt, and stray eyelashes present in the eyes. During night time when you are asleep then the mucus and tears produced by the eyes keep on collecting due to the absence of blinking of the eyes. This leads to the accumulation of the excess matters that gather inside the corner of your eyes or on the eyelid. A small amount of clear or whitish discharge present in the eyes in the morning is normal and is not a matter of concern. This discharge contains oil, mucus, and dead skin cells. Excessive tearing or abnormal eye discharge indicates that either the eye is attempting to improve its lubrication or is fighting against any eye allergy or infection. If there is a change in the consistency or quantity of the discharge then it requires proper medical attention. Excess eye discharge may also cause eyelids to stick together when we wake up. Change in the colour of the eye discharge is also a matter of concern and proper medical attention should be given.

What is eye discharge



Underlying Causes of Eye Boogers

  • Common causes

The most common cause of eye discharge is allergies, dirty contact lenses, or the presence of dirt in the eyes. Typical dry crusty discharge is due to dryness or blepharitis in the eye and is of very low concern. A watery discharge is caused by a viral infection or allergies and the mucky discharge or wet discharge is caused by a bacterial infection.

  • Underlying causes

Eye booger is a normal process in which the eyes clean themselves but, in some conditions, it may not seem normal and occur due to underlying causes which may require medical treatment.




 A pink eye is a condition in which the sclera or the white part of the eye turns red in colour. This eye condition is also accompanied by irritation, burning sensation, and eye discharge. The discharge in this condition is green or yellow in colour and occurs in an excess amount which can cause the eyelids to stick together temporarily. Viral conjunctivitis causes watery eye discharge and bacterial conjunctivitis causes thicker and sticky eye discharge. Conjunctivitis is an infectious eye condition and spreads from one person to another person easily. Mild conjunctivitis can be treated at home easily using home remedies. If the pink eye doesn’t clear up or gets worse then there is a need to see a doctor immediately. Cleaning the eye discharge using a clean cloth soaked in warm water helps in reducing the symptoms of the disease.




The immune reaction to any foreign substance in the form of allergy can also lead to eye discharge. The allergens like dust, mould, pollen, and pet dander usually cause eye discharge in the eyes. Allergy-related conditions like vernal keratoconjunctivitis, atopic keratoconjunctivitis, giant papillary conjunctivitis, and contact allergic conjunctivitis cause eye discharge along with irritation and red eyes.



Blocked Tear Ducts

When the tears ducts get blocked and the formation of tears does not take place then it causes recurring eye infections, an unusual number of tears, eye discharge, blurry vision, and red eyes. It may be caused due to infection, injury, or tumor. Dacryocystitis is the blocked tear duct condition that causes swollen bumps to appear near the inner part of the eyelid.




A red bump on the eye causes inflamed eyes along with burning eyes. It is mainly caused due to clogged meibomian gland which occurs at the base of the eyelid. Yellow pus, eyelid crusting, and eye discharge cause discomfort while blinking of eyes.



Dry Eye Syndrome

It is an eye condition where the eyes are unable to produce enough tears to lubricate the eyes which causes irritation, burning sensation, and pain in the eyes. It also causes the formation of stingy eye discharge due to blocked meibomian glands which are present in the eyelids of the eyes.




 Inflammation of your cornea is called keratitis. The cornea present in the eyes is the clear covering present that covers the pupil and iris of the eye. The symptoms of keratitis include eye discharge, redness, excessive tears, eye pain, blurred vision, and light sensitivity. In severe conditions, it can lead to a corneal ulcer which can cause vision loss.




It is a contagious bacterial infection and spreads by the contact of the infected items. The symptom of trachoma also includes eye discharge, pain, irritation, and light sensitivity. It is a very contagious eye disease and affects both eyes. It can cause blindness if not treated on time.




 This is an eye condition in which the eyelid turns inward and the eyelashes rub against the eyes causing redness, irritation, and pain in the eyes. It occurs in the lower eyelid and is more common in adults. The symptoms of the disease include eye discharge, eye pain, red eyes, watery eyes, and a decrease in vision.





 It is a chronic eye disorder in which the inflammation of the eyelash or abnormal oil production occurs which leads to eye discharge getting accumulated at the corner of the eyes. It can be caused due to fungal infection in the eye, overgrowth of bacteria and fungus in the margins of the eyelids, or due to improper functioning of the meibomian gland. Blepharitis and dry eyes can be confused with each other as they have similar symptoms.



Contact Lenses

 Wearing dirty and unclean contact lenses can also cause discomfort in the eyes and can lead to the formation of eye boogers and eye-related infections. An increase in the eye booger would require proper medical attention.



Eye Injury

An eye injury due to any foreign particle entering the eyes can cause unusual eye discharge and watery eyes. Eye injury can be caused due to unwanted materials accidentally landing inside the eyes which can damage the cornea and lead to a serious eye infection. Any kind of bleeding in the eyes requires immediate medical attention.



How To Clean Eye Discharge?

To clean eyes from the gunky pus or mucus which can dry into an itchy or uncomfortable crust you need to first break up the crusty discharge. Then put a warm, moist clean cloth on your closed eyes for few minutes. Warm the cloth again to get the discharge off your eyes. Next, take a warm damp cotton ball or the corner of the cloth to wipe out the inner corner of the eyes and repeat this process till the eyes are cleaned completely. You need to wash your hands before and after you clean your eyes.

Maintaining proper hygiene becomes even more necessary if you have conjunctivitis. Avoid using hot water to clean your eyes as it can damage the delicate skin around the eyes. always use a clean cloth to clean the eyes and after cleaning the discharge the cloth should be washed properly. Never rub or pick at your eyes to remove the eye discharge in the morning as it increases the risk of contracting eye infections.



Eye Discharge Treatment

The eye booger formation is a natural process of eye cleaning itself from mucus and foreign particles that enter the eyes. when the eye discharge is in excess and causes the eyelids to stick together or there is the presence of any discomfort in the eyes then it becomes necessary to treat eye discharge either through home remedies or through medical help in serious eye condition.




  • Contact lens

People who wear contact lenses should avoid wearing them till the eye condition turns back to normal. Unclean contact lenses and unhygienic makeup products when used causes eye infection and can lead to the formation of excess eye discharge due to the presence of high amounts of dirt in the eyes. wearing clean contact lenses and using clean eye makeup products can prevent you from getting unusual eye discharge.

  • Hygiene

Maintaining good eye hygiene can prevent you from getting eye infections and eye discharge. It is important to clean your hands before touching your eyes as they may contain germs and bacteria that can directly infect the eyes.

  • Cleaning

In the morning if eye boogers are formed make sure to remove them using a warm water-soaked clean cloth using the above-mentioned steps. This technique works whether you have eye discharge in normal amount or excess amount. This type of cleaning also becomes important when you have any contagious eye infection.

  • Environment

If the cause of the eye discharge is allergens then it is advised to live in an allergen-free environment so that eye boogers are not formed. Artificial tears can help with a dry eye conditions and keeping eyelid clean will keep you at bay from contracting any eyelid infection and inflammation.

  • Medical treatment

If you experience any light sensitivity or have eye discharge present in green or yellow condition then it becomes necessary to visit an ophthalmologist for further treatment. Even a slight vision problem would require medical attention. Depending upon the underlying cause of the eye discharge the doctor will provide you appropriate treatment which may include prescription of antibiotic eye drops, oral antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drops and other drugs. If the eye condition becomes severe there are chances of getting surgery performed so that the eyes can function normally.

Dry eye-causing eye discharge can be treated by getting tear duct plugs inserted in the eyes or through the prescription of eye drops and artificial tears. Treatment options available for entropion are switched to soft contact lenses, getting surgery to fix the position of the eyelid, and skin tape. For other underlying causes of eye discharge, prescription of oral medication in mild conditions is prescribed and in adverse conditions, surgery becomes the final treatment option.

  • Precaution

For prevention maintain proper hand hygiene and wear eyeglasses for some period of time and avoid wearing contact lenses and makeup. If you notice any change in the eye discharge which includes its consistency, pain in the eyes, color of the eye discharge, blurry vision and light sensitivity then make sure you get your eyes checked by your ophthalmologist.



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