Sleep Crust: The Complete Phenomenon

Sleep Crust: The Complete Phenomenon

What Is Sleep Crust?

Sleep crust is the residue from the eye’s protective process. It is a crusty material commonly known as eye goop or eye gunk which is found in the corner of the eye after we wake up.

Sleep crust is mainly a residue mixture of mucus, exfoliated skin cells, oils, and tears produced from tear duct. It is harmless and a way of removing waste material from the eyes. You will usually find it on the inner corner of your eyes in the morning. It is advised to wipe it with clean water gently.


How Sleep Crust Is Formed?

sleep crust

During the day, when we are awake, the normal mucus formed by the conjunctiva and other oils by the meibomian glands produced are flushed out by blinking.

A tear film that is made up of three layers keeps our eyes moist and healthy.

When we are asleep at night, we are unable to blink due to which the eye discharge from the different glands gets accumulated at the corner of the eye and along the eyelash line. Eye discharge can be hard, crust, sticky, and wet.


Is Formation of Sleep Crust Normal?

Finding sleep crusts in the corner of the eyes or along the eyelash line when we wake up is normal and everyone gets them. Eye crusts commonly look ochre yellow. They are hard and crusty and can even be clear, sticky, thin, or watery.

There are different types of sleep crusts and some are not the typical ones. Some of these sleep crusts are symptoms that we have some eye infection.

One of the conditions which causes sleep crusts in the morning is blepharitis.

It is the swelling of the eyelids and normally affects both the eyes. It is usually caused by the clogging of the oil glands near the base of the eyelids which leads to irritation and redness.


Different Kinds of Eye Discharge

In addition to sleep crusts, many different types of eye conditions can cause painful eye discharge and swelling.

Some of them include:

  • Pink eyePink eye commonly known as conjunctivitis causes redness and inflammation. It also leads to greenish-yellow and white discharge. Pink eye is caused by bacteria, viruses, or and allergic reactions.
  • Styes: Styes are blocked glands found in the eyelids. Eye Styes usually cause swelling or a lump. Styes are extremely painful and cause itchiness but they can go away with warm compresses.
  • Eye injury: An eye injury like a corneal scratch can cause eye inflammation and itchiness.
  • An object in the eye: Any small object stuck in the eye can irritate. The eyes become watery and tender and may be sensitive to light.
  • Blepharitis- In blepharitis, there could be eye discharge along with inflammation and redness in the eyes.


Symptoms of Abnormal Eye Crusts

These are the symptoms of eye crusts that are not normal:

  1. Greenish yellow or white coloured discharge.
  2. Trouble in opening the eye due to sticky eyelids.
  3. Blurry vision.
  4. Light sensitive eyes.
  5. Redness.
  6. Swelling.
  7. Pain in the eyes.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms along with eye crust then visit an eye doctor.


Can Sleep Crusts Be Removed at Home?

sleep crust home

Common sleep crusts are easy to remove at home. If they seem hard, use water and wipe them gently with clean hands. You should not clean your eyes with dirty hands as it may cause inflammation and even infection.

Good eye hygiene can reduce eye sleep crust. These include:

  • Remove eye makeup– Removing eye makeup before sleeping at night is necessary as it causes eye problems and increases the sleep crust.
  • Maintain eye hygiene– Keeping eyes clean by wiping them with warm water is one of the measures you can take for maintaining hygiene. You should protect your eyes from germs and bacteria.
  • Do not rub your eyes– Rubbing your eyes may feel nice but it is not it can severely harm your eyes. It affects your cornea, and if you had any eye surgery in the past, then you need to be extra careful.
  • Avoid contact lenses– If you experience frequent sleep crusts avoid wearing contact lens.


Sleep Crusts In Babies

sleep crust babies

New-borns can produce eye mucus and sleep crusts. But they can also develop eye infections.

In some newborns, the tear ducts are not completely developed which leads to blocked ducts. During such a condition the babies have greenish-yellow mucus all day.

The eyes become tender, red, and swollen.

Such infections can be reduced by warm compression.

Sleep crusts are relatively normal especially in the morning but sometimes they indicate an infection. An opthalmologist can suggest the right treatment and prescribe the correct medications for this.


If you feel that you have any such symptoms you should contact our team at Eye mantra.

We have an excellent team of experienced and well-trained ophthalmologists who will help you in no time.

Visit our website Eyemantra. To book an appointment call +91-9711115191. Or mail us at [email protected]Our other services include Retina SurgerySpecs RemovalCataract Surgery, and many more.

Make An Appointment

Free Tele-Consultation

Book Appointment or Video Consultation online with top eye doctors