Eye discharge is normal. It’s composed of the combination of eye mucus, skin cells, oil, and other debris, technically termed as rheum. Rheum is often yellow and thick. It can be either sticky or crusty if the liquid within it evaporated. Either is normal. During the day, you blink it away without even noticing and it accumulates in the corners of your eyes while you sleep. So what part of this is considered “normal,” and when should you be concerned?

Waking up with eye discharge accumulated in the corners of your eyes is completely normal and no treatment is necessary. If the discharge is persistent, unusual in consistency, or excessive during waking hours, it may be a symptom of something else. Other symptoms, such as a change in the amount or consistency of eye discharge along with itchy or painful eyes, light sensitivity, or blurry vision, mean you should be checked by your doctor to be sure it isn’t an infection or an injury. Different conditions can cause unusual changes in eye discharge, including:

  • Pink eye or conjunctivitis, can produce white, yellow, or green mucus that is stringy and thick, making your eyes feel like they’re glued shut because of severe crusting. You may have pink eye in one eye but not the other, though it’s highly contagious.
  • Styes are often infected eyelid follicles and can cause thick yellow pus.
  • Dry eyes are caused by a lack of tear production, result in watery eye discharge.
  • Corneal ulcers are ulcerated and sometimes infected sores on the cornea, resulting in constant and thick discharge.

i-Chek gives you opportunity to discover whether or not a foreign object has gotten lodged in your eye and is causing abnormal discharge. With i-Chek, you can perform a personal eye exam in ultra-high definition. However, please remember that while i-Chek is a helpful tool, you should consult your eye doctor if you’re experiencing abnormal discharge.