Sticky eyes: 4 possible causes

Who does not know: in the morning after waking up, the first thing you do is rub the sleeping sand from your eyes. Slightly scaly and sticky eyes in the morning are usually not a cause for concern. But why does this happen at all?

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Why does the body produce eye mucus?

Our body produces eye mucus to protect and clean delicate little eyes. Among other things, the smallest foreign objects, such as makeup residues or eyelashes, should be rinsed from the eyes. Our Meibomian glands produce sticky sebum with a sticky substance. The oily fluid mixes with the tear fluid and is primarily responsible for keeping our eyes moist. If this secretion dries up, the so-called sleeping sand is formed.

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SubsequentlyA little eye mucus and sleeping sand in the morning is mostly harmless. However, in some cases, diseases can also cause sticky eyes. You should be especially vigilant if the amount, color, and consistency of your eye mucus changes. We have named 3 possible reasons that could be behind this – which a doctor should check out.

Sticky eyes: 4 possible causes


Conjunctivitis is often the cause of excessive eye discharge. The disease is usually caused by yellowish-green mucus in the eyes. The conjunctiva is a thin layer of tissue that connects the eyeball and eyelids. If this layer becomes inflamed, in addition to increased eye mucus, it usually also leads to itching and redness of the eye. A crust can form from the secretion at the base of the eyelashes. In particularly severe cases, it is temporarily no longer possible to open the eyes. There are home remedies for conjunctivitis that you can try. If the infection does not improve, you should definitely consult an ophthalmologist. For example, he can treat you with eye drops or ointments containing antibiotics.

eye herpes

Sticky eyelids, burning eyes, and red conjunctiva are all signs of ocular herpes. Recurrent viral infections of the eye can cause abnormal mucus and fluid-filled sacs. The cornea and conjunctiva in particular are often affected by infection. If you suspect that you have herpes in the eye, it is best to see a doctor immediately. Because: in the worst case, an infectious disease – without proper treatment – can lead to blindness. Specialists can effectively treat eye herpes with eye drops, ointments, or tablets.


The patch, also known as a hordeolum, is usually painful for sufferers. It is blepharitis caused by obstruction of the meibomian gland. There is a swelling in which pus collects. Externally, the bite often resembles a pimple with a yellow dot on the edge of the eyelid. In addition to mucus, naked eyes, and swelling, blinking with stitches can also be uncomfortable. After about a week, the boil and associated symptoms should subside. If this is not the case – or if there are side effects such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, or headache – you should consult your doctor immediately.

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