Why Do People Get Eye Boogers
Eye boogers refer to a buildup of mucus in the eyes. Each time a person blinks, the eyes flush away the secretions of rheum they have produced. The average adult produces about 2 ounces (57 grams) of tears per hour; these tear ducts then carry the fluid out through the nose and down into the throat. When you wake up in the morning, your eyes will be dry because you haven’t had enough sleep yet to make any more tears. However, after a while, as you go through your daily routine, your eyes will start producing some moisture from the glands that secrete them. But since the eyes produce this mucus in such tiny quantities, most people never notice it. At night, when a person does not blink, the mucus can build up. If you are one of those who do experience eye booger problems at night or if you develop eye infections, call your doctor right away. Most eye infections require antibiotics and possibly an antiviral medication.
The eye is covered with eyelashes which keep dust particles out but also trap other debris like bacteria and viruses. It’s estimated that there may be more than 500 different types of germs found on our face and in our noses; many of these germs cause colds and flu-like symptoms, including fever, headache, and cough. In addition, we inhale air pollutants every day, especially during rush hours when traffic is heavy and pollution levels are high. Pollutants irritate the lining of the lungs, causing bronchitis and asthma attacks. To add insult to injury, all this irritation makes us want to sneeze even more, further creating the perfect environment for viruses and bacteria to enter the body. These airborne allergens cause allergic reactions, such as hives, redness, swelling and breathing difficulties. Even though people are aware of their surroundings and how polluted the air has become, they still choose to walk outside anyway.
This brings us back to why people get eye boogers — it’s due to these environmental factors and lack of blinking activity. Now that you know what causes eye boogers, let’s take a look at how you can prevent yourself from getting them.
Preventing Eye Boogers
There are several things you should do to reduce the number of times you feel pain in your eyes. First, don’t rub your eyes too vigorously without washing your hands first. This could lead to infection by irritating the delicate tissues in your eyes. Rubbing your eyes with towel or tissue can spread bacteria from your nose to the cornea, where it can cause a severe inflammation. Next, avoid touching your eyes, particularly with dirty fingers; wash your hands before eating or drinking. Also, wear sunglasses whenever possible. Sunglasses filter out ultraviolet rays, which can hurt your eyes. If you must go outdoors, try using a pair of nonprescription sunglasses. A hat with a wide brim helps protect against sunburns and UVB radiation. Finally, stay hydrated throughout the day. Drinking plenty of water keeps your eyes moist and reduces the amount of time your eyes spend closed. If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to no more than 3 drinks per occasion. Alcohol dehydrates the body and interferes with your ability to absorb nutrients. It also raises blood pressure and lowers inhibitions, making you less likely to use sunscreen lotion or protective clothing.
Now that you’ve learned about the causes behind eye boogers, read on to find out how treating the problem can help you breathe easier.
One thing that seems to cause eye boogers is having contact lenses. Contact lens wearers are prone to eye infections because the lenses collect dirt and bacteria. Wearing your contacts for long periods of time can lead to eye fatigue, eye strain, and even blurry vision. So be sure to change your lenses often and clean them thoroughly between wearing them and throwing them away. For best results, only wear your contacts for short periods of time.
Treating Eye Boogers
If you suffer from chronic eye boogers, talk to your doctor. Your physician may prescribe medications to relieve your discomfort. Over-the-counter products containing antihistamines may provide relief from allergy symptoms. You can also treat eye boogers with over-the-counter eye drops made specifically for allergies. Some common brands include Allergan, Ciba Vision, Johnson & Johnson Ophthalmic, Alcon Laboratories, Bausch & Lomb Pharmaceuticals and Novartis. If your condition doesn’t improve, see a medical professional immediately.
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You might think that removing eye boogers would be easy. After all, just stick your finger in your eye! Unfortunately, although it feels great at first, sticking your finger in your eye actually dries your eyes out even worse. Removing eye boogers requires patience and proper technique. Before attempting to remove the mucus yourself, consult your doctor. He or she can recommend ways to ease your discomfort.
Contrary to popular belief, putting Vaseline on your eyes won’t make your eye boogers disappear either. Although Vaseline contains lanolin, a natural emollient that softens skin, applying it directly onto your eyes can have serious side effects. Lanolin can burn your eyes and leave them irritated. Furthermore, applying the oil to your eyelids can clog your pores and create acne breakouts. Lastly, the grease can cause eye infections. As a result, steer clear of greasy substances and oils if you suffer from eye boogers. Instead, consider taking oral supplements rich in vitamin E and zinc. Both vitamins work together to soften the mucus and soothe inflamed eyes. Zinc deficiency may contribute to the development of eye disorders. Taking a multivitamin supplement daily can help ensure you receive adequate amounts of both minerals.
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