Do you ever notice that when you wake up, your eyes seem to have developed crust? Because of this, you probably head over to your bathroom and wash your face. Some people aren’t phased by this while others find it quite gross. So, what exactly is going on while we sleep that contributes to crusty eyes in the morning?
For starters, when we are awake, we blink. This helps remove excess mucus and irritants from the eyes. When we sleep, our eyes still continue to produce tears and mucus, but we aren’t blinking to remove these substances. This gives mucus the opportunity to collect in the corner of the eyes.
The good news is that this eye crust is normal and is rarely a cause for concern.
On the other hand, if you notice changes in your eye crust such as consistency, color, and quantity, this could signal a more serious problem. When the eyes tear excessively, it could be that they are attempting to keep themselves well lubricated to fight off infection.
One common condition that is represented by changes in eye crust is called blepharitis, or inflammation of the eyelid. Upon waking, you may notice that your eyelid is stuck together as a result of blepharitis. It’s important that you practice proper eye hygiene if you want to reduce your risk of blepharitis.
Other signs to pay attention to if you want to determine whether your eye crust is healthy is sensitivity to light, blurry vision, eye pain, swelling and redness, or fever.
Tips for proper eye hygiene
To reduce the risk of a more complicated eye condition occurring, it’s important that you practice proper eye hygiene.
- Always remove makeup prior to sleep
- Refrain from touching your eyes or eyelid throughout the day
- To remove eye crust in the morning, use a warm washcloth
If you notice any changes to your eye crust, eye discharge, or changes in vision, speak to your doctor right away. There could be a more serious eye-related problem in the works.