Possible causes of goopy eyes

For some individuals, waking up with goopy eyes might be normal, especially young children. It is important to note that all of us produce a certain amount of rheum which is a liquid made up of mucous, skin cells, oil and other debris that accumulates in the corners of the eyes while we sleep. Nevertheless, eyes that water excessively or have an unusual discharge can be triggered by various conditions.


Conjunctivitis or pink eye can cause goopy eyes that are often red or bloodshot. This condition can also cause the eyes to burn or feel itchy. Depending on the bacteria that caused the infection, the eye discharge might be white, yellow or even green.

Conjunctivitis can occur in both adults and children. When it comes to viral conjunctivitis, it is often accompanied by the symptoms of the common cold. Even though most cases of pink eye are mild and subside after some time, other cases require a visit to the doctor. Remember that even if the symptoms are mild, it is highly contagious. The individual with this condition should always wash hands in order to prevent its spread to others. If the individual is in doubt, it is best to consult a doctor for proper assessment of the condition as well as provide appropriate treatment options.


For some individuals, waking up with goopy eyes might be normal, especially young children.

Clogged tear ducts

Clogged tear ducts are quite common in babies or young children. This occurs since the duct is blocked by a thin piece of tissue. As for infants, they may have closed or underdeveloped corners of the eyes which prevent the drainage of tears into the nasolacrimal ducts.

Among adults and older children, the tear ducts are blocked by infectious debris or when they are damaged from facial trauma or injury. In some cases, a blocked tear duct can cause drainage in only one eye or both eyes. The drainage might worsen if the individual has sinus infection or congested.


Eye allergies can cause clear watery or whitish discharge or goopy eyes. Aside from the goopy eyes, it can also be accompanied by other symptoms such as itchy eyes, eye redness, burning sensation and other symptoms linked with hay fever.

Dry eye syndrome

It is important to note that dry eye syndrome can oftentimes cause the eyes to appear goopy in appearance. The other symptoms include a sensation that there is something present in the eye, bloodshot eyes and burning sensation.


A stye involves an inflamed gland on the edge of the eyelid which is due to an infected eyelash follicle. This typically causes a bump on the edge of the eyelid that can be sore or tender. The condition can resolve after some time but if the individual finds it uncomfortable, it is best to consult a doctor. This can cause excessive tearing of the eye in most cases.


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