Sticky eyes refer to discharge from the eyes that feel gooey, crusty, or sticky. Waking up to some sticky or crustiness around the eyes is expected, says the American Academy of Ophthalmology. This is caused because a person doesn’t blink at night, and mucus and debris deposit the corners of the eyes. A crusty, sticky mucus layer can be caused in the eyes due to medical conditions also.
Common medical conditions for sticky eyes –
Conjunctivitis – In this eyelids or conjunctiva swell. The symptoms include pus or mucus discharge, burning in the eye, irritation, itching, crusting of the lashes and eyelids, difficulty wearing contacts, increased tear production, the feeling of an object in the eye, frequent urge to rub the eyes, and pink or red color in the white of the eye. CDC said there are three main causes of this eye disease which include bacteria, allergens, viruses. The reason behind the cause of the disease the doctor will decide the treatment. If it is caused by bacteria then antibacterial eye drops or ointment are prescribed and if the cause is allergy then topical antihistamines and vasoconstrictors in the form of eye drops are prescribed.
Blepharitis – In this condition eyelids becomes itchy, swollen, discolored, or red, and crusty flakes appear on the eyelashes. The two main reasons this condition can happen: at the base of eyelashes too much bacteria is there and in the eyelids when the oil gland blocks. This condition is of two types anterior and posterior. The treatment includes warm compresses, keeping the eyelids clean, antibiotics for bacterial infections, eye drops, dandruff shampoo, keeping the glands clean and clear.
Dacryocystitis – It is the infection of the lacrimal sacs or tears sacs. It occurs just after birth or in adults older than 40 years. Abnormalities in the tear duct such as blockage cause this disease in infants. The reason it occurs in adults is due to bacteria, nasal abscesses, trauma, and infection. The symptoms include near the inner corner of the eye swelling can be seen, thick discharge from the eye, excess tears, swelling, and tenderness. It can be treated with a warm compress and antibiotics.
Stye – On the eyelid, a painful bump appears due to bacterial infection or blocked oil gland. Along the edge of the eyelid, there can be a painful bump, a scratchy sensation in the eye, at the center of the bump a small spot of pus, excess tearing, sensitivity to light, along the margin of the eyelid crustiness. It is treated with a warm compress. If there is a sign of infection, then antibiotics are needed.
Chronic Dry Eye – It occurs when the eyes don’t produce enough tears. The symptoms include blurry vision, watery eyes, burning or stinging sensation, sensitivity to light, redness on the whites of the eye. Treatment includes artificial tears, conserving tears, treating other conditions around the eyes causing the issue, increasing tear production.
Other Causes: There are many other conditions like foreign objects in the eye, unclean contact lenses, damage or injury to the eyes. If a person experience sticky or crusty eyelids or lashes should consult a doctor.