When you wake up, you may have a little bit of “sleepy dust” that has formed on the inner parts for your eyes throughout the night. This is normal because it’s how your eyes get rid of dirt while you’re sleeping. All you have to do to get rid of it is use a warm washcloth and gently wipe it away. If, however, you wake up with your eyes swollen shut or if you practically have to force them open because you do have so much gunk, then you may have something else going on.
The most common cause of having excess fluid and discharge around your eyes when you wake up is conjunctivitis or pink eye. Pink eye can either be caused by bacteria or a virus. Usually, the patient wakes up with a virus like pink eye when they have a common cold and it usually subsides on its own. However, if it doesn’t clear up on its own, it may be caused by a bacteria which may require an antibiotic. Either way, contact our office and we can get you in for an eye exam.
Blocked Tear Duct
Another common cause of waking up with excess gunk around your eyes is a blocked tear duct. Your tear ducts are what help to lubricate your eyes and keep them moist. However, they can sometimes get clogged with facial oil, makeup, bacteria, or other things. When this happens, it can result in a clogged tear duct which may cause patients to experience a lot of gunk around their eyes.
Dry Eye Syndrome
If you notice that your eyes don’t just tear or have gunk around them when you wake up but if they have it all day long, then you may be suffering from chronic dry eye. Dry eye is a really common eye condition in which there’s an inadequate amount of tears to coat and support the eyes. Luckily, it’s usually easily treatable with some eye drops or a prescription.
If you have noticed that you have more gunk around your eyes than normal when you wake up, then it may be time to schedule an appointment with us at our office. To learn a little bit more, contact our Athol office at (800) 676-5050.