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Why do I always have discharge from my eyes when I wake up in the morning?

I am a 19 year old male. I have had this problem for about 2 months or so. Every morning when I wake up, my eyelids feel sticky, and I realize that there is a gooey pasty substance coating the area along my eyelids. I have used Opcon and other eyedrop medicines to fix the problem, but it has persisted. I do not have glasses or contacts, and my eyes do not face any considerable strain throughout the day.
Most of the time, a change in the amount or character of eye discharge is caused by an eye infection such as conjunctivitis. This is a viral or bacterial infection of the outer lining of the eye. Most people with this infection do report a lot of discharge and sometimes it is so much that they eye is sealed shut in the morning. The only part of your story that is not consistent with conjunctivitis is that you are not reporting any redness, pain, or itching of your eye which are the most common complaints. Another possibility is that you have that you have a sinus infection that is causing some discharge to move up the lacrimal duct to your eyes. Again, this problem usually carries the chief complaint of a very runny nose, and not just eye discharge by itself. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can examine you eyes, ears, nose, and determine whether you have a low level infection which is causing the eye discharge. If you do, then your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotic eye drops to make sure that any bacterial infection is being treated. Most likely, this will pass on its own. Good luck.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under ZocDoc’s Terms of Service.

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