What Are Eye Boogers Made Of
The word “crust” usually conjures up images of dry, hard-as-a-rock substances like salt or sugar. But when you think about eye crust (also known as eye booger), you probably picture something more along the lines of snot. That’s what I thought anyway!
I was sitting in my car on a cold winter day with the engine running to warm it up while waiting for a friend to pick me up. It was only 11am but I had been outside since 6 am shoveling snow around my driveway. As I sat there, I noticed the feeling of dried mucus coming out of both nostrils. And then, I saw two little clumps of goo hanging down just above my eyebrows. Gross! I reached over and wiped them off using my finger. They were soft and sticky. What exactly were these things? Why did they have such strong grip onto my hair follicles?
When I got home later that afternoon, I ran into my bathroom. There on the sink was another globule of disgusting stuff – this one looked almost like a tiny egg white. Then, I remembered how many times during the day I had cleaned my face with soap and water, yet still found myself covered in this nasty crud. This stuff seemed impossible to wash out. After searching through several books and websites, I discovered that this thing called eye boogers is actually pretty common and not at all uncommon. In fact, there are millions of people across the globe who suffer from having an excessive amount of eye boogers.
So what exactly causes us to get some gross looking clumps of mucus stuck in our eyelashes? The most obvious answer would be allergies. However, when I talked to my doctor about eye boogie, he told me that although allergies may cause some people to experience excess amounts of eye bogeys, it wasn’t true for everyone. Some other factors that could contribute to eye crust include:
· A build-up of oil glands due to aging
· Certain types of medication causing your body to produce extra sebum
· Rhinitis which is also known as hay fever
· Sinus problems
· Acute infections
· Irritation from wearing contact lenses
· An autoimmune disease
It turns out that eye boogers aren’t always caused by allergies. If you find that you are experiencing too much eye crust, then you should consult with your doctor so that he can determine if any of these conditions apply to you. Once you know what is behind your eye crust, you will be able to take measures to prevent it from happening again.
Now let’s talk about what exactly makes eye boogers look the way that they do. Although we refer to it as eye crust, it isn’t really crusty. Instead, it feels like those soft, wet, gloppy bits that are left after you’ve washed your hands and scrubbed them thoroughly. When you touch these things, they feel slimy and kind of greasy, but they’re not dirty. So why does this stuff hang around inside our eyelids?
Well, the first step in understanding what creates eye boogers is to realize that they are made up of three different parts:
2) Skin Cells
3) Oils & Dust
Mucus is the main ingredient. The average person produces approximately 2 to 3 cups of mucus each day. Normally, we blink our way through this mucus without ever thinking twice about it. However, sometimes we can create a blockage where the mucus gets trapped. If you remember back to high school biology class, you might recall the diagram showing how mucus is produced in order to keep us healthy. Basically, the lining of our nose contains small hairs that poke out into the nasal cavity. These hairs are coated with mucus. As we breathe air through our nose, the oxygen reacts with the carbon dioxide in the air to form ozone. The resulting molecules collect together to form a thick liquid called respiratory fluid. This fluid is continuously pushed forward towards the pharynx by the cilia lining the nasal cavity. Here, the fluid mixes with saliva and eventually becomes part of the mucus layer that coats the entire surface of the sinuses. Our eyes contain similar structures called lacrimal sacs. Within these sacs are mucous membranes that release mucus directly into the eyeball.
Skin cells are the next component of eye boogers. We shed thousands of dead skin cells every single day. These cells combine with the oils and water within our tears to form the glue that holds the skin cell cluster together. Just like real glue, however, this adhesive substance is very weak and easily washed away. Therefore, when we wake up in the morning, we often wipe our eyes clean before going about our daily routines. Unfortunately, this doesn’t remove all of the skin cells. Over time, this residue builds up until it forms a hardened ball of material.
Oils and dust are the last important element in creating eye boogers. Oil glands release fat droplets throughout our bodies. The fatty globules help lubricate joints and organs as well as protect against drying effects like dehydration. However, the oily secretions aren’t limited to our feet and armpits. In addition, the oil glands located near our eyes produce large quantities of oil. When this secretion collects on our faces, it dries out the tissues and leads to cracks, irritation and inflammation. Finally, dust particles are everywhere. They float through the air and settle on surfaces. On occasion, the particles will be inhaled into the lungs and end up getting absorbed right into our bloodstream.
If you haven’t guessed already, eye boogers are basically pieces of dead skin cells, oil and dust that are stuck together and unable to leave our eyes. Since these components are constantly being released into the environment, it is no surprise that we are exposed to them everyday. Therefore, it is not entirely surprising that millions of people worldwide suffer from chronic eye boogers.
Once you understand the basic process behind eye boogers, you’ll be better equipped to handle them if they pop up in front of you unexpectedly. Now that you know what causes eye boogers, you can explore various ways of dealing with them. You can start by trying natural remedies. For example, you might want to try applying a drop of olive oil or petroleum jelly to your eyes once or twice per week. Another option is to use a neti pot to rinse out your sinuses. Drinking plenty of fluids is also recommended. Water is best, but green tea, apple cider vinegar and honey are good alternatives. At least once per month, you should make sure to give yourself a thorough cleaning with a gentle cleanser designed specifically for sensitive facial tissue. Also, consider visiting your local pharmacist to see if you can find prescription treatment options.
In conclusion, eye boogers are nothing to sneeze at. Millions of people suffer from them each year. If you find yourself battling eye boogers on a regular basis, then you need to seek medical attention immediately. Your physician may prescribe topical ointments or oral medications to reduce the symptoms associated with eye crust. Or you may even be prescribed antibiotics to treat acute bacterial infections. No matter what method you choose, though, the key is to stay vigilant and avoid aggravating the problem further.
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