Eye gunk is a common issue, but under certain circumstances it can develop into more serious conditions. There are simple steps you can take to reduce the amount of eye gunk you develop and reduce any risks eye gunk might pose to your ocular health.
Everybody has eye gunk, if not on a daily basis, certainly very regularly. Let’s have a look at what it is, determine if it is a problem and look at a couple of ways of minimizing the amount of eye gunk you develop and ensureing it doesn’t develop into a problem.
Eye Gunk – What is Eye Gunk
While you are awake your eyes are very good at cleaning themselves. Your eyes secrete tears that collect any dust or foreign bodies that make their way into your eyes. Through the process of blinking and the occasional wipe of your eyes, this mixture of tears and “gunk” finds its ways onto the eye lashes and eventually gets brushed away. This is an important activity as it prevents the eyes getting scratched and prevents the eyes being blurred by having objects in the field of view – like when your glasses are smudged.
When you are asleep the ability of the eyes to clear away this eye gunk is greatly diminished. The eyes still secrete fluid to collect up all the gunk that is left over from your days activities, but because you are asleep you are not blinking or wiping your eyes, and so there is no mechanism for clearing this collected eye gunk away from your eyes. As such it collects, usually around the corners of your eyes and by morning there can be quite a large clump of unsightly eye gunk.
This eye gunk is not in itself dangerous or a sign of any underlying problem. If however you do not properly clean your eyes of this debris, or if your eyes are producing unusually large amounts of eye gunk, even during the day, then it can be a sign of an underlying infection or develop into such.
Conditions that can either develop as a result of poor ocular hygiene or can result in increased production of eye gunk are blepharitis, conjunctivitis, bacterial infection or being exposed to high levels of dust or smoke.
Eye Gunk – Reducing the Amount of Eye Gunk
There are some simple steps that you can take to reduce the amount of eye gunk that your eyes produce and in the process ensure that you are practicing good ocular hygiene.
- Stay away from places that have high smoke and dust concentrations in the air, including cigarette smoke. Ultimately, dust and smoke get into your eyes and everything that goes in must come out. By exposing your eyes to such environments you will not only increase the amount of eye gunk you produce but you also increase your chances of developing eye infections and inflammations.
- Use a warm wet face washer to gently wipe away the eye gunk in the mornings, ensuring that you wipe them away from your eyes and not back into them.
- Before going to bed ensure that you again wipe your eyes gently with a wet warm face washer to clear away as much debris as you can and also ensure that you remove any eye make up before going to bed.
- Reducing the amount of make up you wear around your eyes and eye lashes can greatly reduce the amount of eye gunk you produce.
- If redness or inflammation of your eyelids develops, see your doctor as antibiotics may be necessary.
You may be interested in these other articles: