top of page

Just what is eye gunk?

Most of us are familiar with the sharp, sandy feeling of having “sleep” in our eyes. Our tears are a salty solution. When it evaporates, it leaves salt crystals which can feel sharp and uncomfortable. These can be wiped off with a clean, damp washcloth; be careful to brush it away from the eye, not into it.

A small “eye booger” is not cause for alarm, but persistent discharge that is not clear is worth a visit to the eye doctor. This can be urgent if the white of the eye is also red. Call your eye doctor and tell the office staff if the person has pain, vision changes, typically wears contacts, has been swimming, or had an eye injury. Colored, mucous discharge can mean bacteria are involved.

Many offices will work-in a patient with urgent concerns. Consider taking a photo to bring to the appointment if the problem only occurs at certain times. Again, you can clean the mucous away with a clean, damp washcloth. But if you are headed straight to the office, and as long as it is safe to do so, consider leaving it for the doctor to evaluate and remove.

As always, be sure to schedule your children’s yearly comprehensive vision and eye health evaluations.


Brought to you by:

David A. Hackett, OD, FCOVD

Lifetime Eye Care a division of Sterling Vision

4765 Village Plaza Loop Eugene, Oregon

(541) 342-3100 or 866-4EYELUV


bottom of page