I wake up in the morning and my eyes are sticky with rheum. What is the problem?

When we wake up in the morning we normally have small amounts of white rheum, particularly in the corner of the eye near the nose.

They are build-ups of dry tears and dead epithelial cells. If there is more rheum than normal spread over the whole eyelid margin and it is white or slightly yellowish, it may be a symptom of blepharitis, a type of inflammation caused by an excess of seborrhea or an infection of the eyelid margin. Furthermore, if it is accompanied by lacrimation and red eye, it may be viral conjunctivitis. When there is a lot of rheum and it is yellow or green, then it is most likely bacterial  conjunctivitis. You should always wash your eyes with saline solution, see your ophthalmologist for a diagnosis and get suitable treatment.

Dr. Víctor Charoenrook