Hello and thanks for your question.
A goopy, sticky eye is usually due to one of a few problems: 1. the eyelids not being positioned correctly (surgery, trauma, skin loosening as we age or a Bell's palsy can cause this); 2. There is some inflammation inside or on the eye (corneal scratches or infections and/or iritis) and the eye responds by being light-sensitive and also waters. This is usually not a chronic condition, but a solitary event; 3. Tear drainage obstruction or 4. Dry eye
By far dry eye is the most common cause of a goopy, sticky eye It sounds backwards to attribute tearing
to a goopy, sticky eye, but when the eye is dry, the eye sends a signal to the brain that tells the eye to water, but the watering is usually not sufficient to keep the eye hydrated over the long haul. There are many reasons to have a dry eye. Some of the most common are: not making enough of your own tears, having eyelid inflammation called blepharitis
, allergies, living in a dry/windy/dusty environment and some medicines (antihistamines commonly).
One of the first things to do to start treating dry eye is to start using artificial tears 4x/day for a few weeks. It must be consistent, daily use, however, or it won't work. Then, if there is mattering or crusting on the eyelashes in the morning and the eyes burn, sting or feel more irritated in the morning than the evening, then a daily regimen of hot compresses on the eyes x 10 minutes, followed by scrubbing the eyelashes with a dilute baby shampoo solution will help treat eyelid inflammation. If these things are done consistently, it is likely that you will have a noticeable improvement, but you must be consistent about them. It is also important to understand that it takes 3 weeks of doing this daily before the effect kicks in and then you lose the effect if you stop it or do it only sporadically.
Something important to remember, however, is if you are supplementing your dryness
with artificial tears, but aren't treating the inflammation causing the dryness, then you won't see an improvement in the symptoms. The lid scrubs and compresses have to be done concurrently with the artificial tears for 3-4 weeks before tapering down on the artificial tears.
Does this make sense and does this help address your concerns?
I am happy to be able to help you today. If you would be so kind, please help me get credit for my efforts in answering your questions and press the ACCEPT button for this encounter. I would also be happy to continue to answer any more questions you have until we have resolved your concern.
Also, any positive feedback and/or bonus you may feel prompted to provide would be welcomed and is appreciated.
My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must be examined by your doctor.