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Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:10 pm

Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:38 pm
Posts: 13
Age: 29
Location: Mississippi

Hey Everyone!
So Ive been monocular for a long time but Ive always wondered if this was normal... Sometimes I wake up with so much "sleep" or gunk in my prosthesis eye that its literally glued shut. It happens more if I have allergies or am sick. What causes this? Is there something wrong with my tear duct? Once I clean all the gunk out its actually swollen a little bit too... Anyway just wondering if anyone else has experienced this or knows why this happens?

26/F Lost right eye at age 11 due to a freak accident followed by a severe infection

Here is my introduction post if you would like to read about how I became monocular:

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Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:44 pm

Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:53 am
Posts: 323
Location: tampa, florida, usa

A little background is needed before the answer to your question. The natural tear film is a 3-layered fluid made up of 3 components - water, mucous and oil. The mucous is on the bottom layer which coats the tissues and allows the water layer to stay in contact with the surface (scuba divers know how important the mucous in their saliva is to coat the inside surface of their goggles or mask to reduce fogging up). The mucous is produced by the goblet cells in the conjunctiva. The middle layer is the water layer which is the thickest layer and this is produced by the main and accessory lacrimal glands. The oily layer is the outside layer which is on the surface to prevent water layer from evaporating. This oily layer is produced by the meibomian glands in the eyelids. Any disruption of any layer can create a "dry eye" or "dry socket" situation. Abnormal mucous prevents the water layer from wetting the surface. Not enough water layer is the primary cause of dry eyes or dry sockets. Abnormal oily layer allows the water layer to evaporate too quickly.

After tears are produced, there are "blinked" toward the tear ducts located at the inner portion of the upper and lower lids. Blinking, good eyelid tension and good eyelid positioning are important in allowing the flow of tears to find their escape route which eventually drains into the nose. During sleep, we don't blink so the pumping action of the eyelids is stopped.

Now to answer your question. Allergies (and other illnesses) are known to stimulate the goblet cells to increase mucous production. Excessive tearing can also occur. Poor eyelid movement reduces the oily layer which allows the water layer between the lids to evaporate leaving only the oil and mucous - very sticky stuff! As sockets change over time, there can be some "dead spaces" or air pockets that allow these 3 components to collect. As the water evaporates, the sticky stuff glues the lashes and lids together. Warm compresses can melt this stuff away. Have your ocularist check the fit of your prosthesis. Have your doctor check your eyelids and competency of your socket. Remember, behind a prosthesis, a socket is dark, warm and moist. Bacteria love that environment. Clean that "stuff" away from your eyelids.

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Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:06 pm

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Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:47 pm
Posts: 493
Location: Roselle Park, NJ

My eyelid does not close all the way on my left eye due to the shape of my prosthetic and even though I use an ointment nightly, it stil gets stuck sometimes. Sometimes it seems more powerful than super glue (not that I've ever superglued my eyes shut - - lol).

I use a soft wash cloth with warm water to get the stuff out.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

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Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:41 pm

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:23 am
Posts: 1919
Age: 47
Location: Ohio

Funny you should ask...I have been going through this for a couple weeks. I went to 2 different eye appointments on different days a couple weeks ago and a couple hours after I got home my eye became sore. I looked in the mirror and there was this thick long thing across my eye. Previously I had some crusty eye crud in the mornings. Someone told me I might need it polished. I actually had an appointment already scheduled Wednesday so I ask my ocularist. She asked if I had a cold, I said no but I have a sinus infection but on antibiotics. I told her it seemed to go away right before I started the antibiotics. She said it could have been viral and because it is a moist wet dark place bacteria love it. She said if it comes back to call doc I may need antibiotic drops. Well that evening it started again. A couple days later I woke up with my eye completely crusted shut. Today it is much better and just small amounts in corner. So if it keeps doing it you may want to call your doc to be safe. Good luck to you.


Blind in R eye and legally blind in L due to glaucoma and retinopathy related to type 1 diabetes since 1987. R eye evisceration October 2010, prosthetic December 2010.

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Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:02 am

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:21 pm
Posts: 1221


this is what was suggested to me by the prosthetist lady i go to.. and whom made my eye...... and it works 100%..........
i may have mentioned this on the site before...
i have a bottle of saline( same thing as some use for contact lenses)...
wipe gently the upper/lower lid/ corner AND very gently of course across the actual eye concerned... WITH a clean may be 2 x round cotton pad.. SOAKED in Saline.
here in uk saline is £2a bottle lasts ages + cotton pads 200 for only 96p!!!!
all the discharge will be cleared.. if late at night it happens again just do
the same....... takes 2 mins.

ps i dont use cream or ointment also...of course what you do is up to you .but thankfully works for me ok...

Enucleation March 2010 london uk

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Sun Sep 18, 2011 3:56 pm

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:23 pm
Posts: 367
Location: New Orleans

I get that crud sometimes. The medical term is "eye boogers."

Anyway, I went to my regular eye doc for a checkup last week. He told me that there was some inflammation around the prosthesis: nothing serious, but that this may be causing the discharge. He prescribed some steroid drops, something you would never put in a real eye, but no problem with a presthetic.

I'll let everyone know if it works.

M 68. Enucleation 7/10/2010 following uncontrolled fungal infection.

In the land of the blind, a one-eyed man is king.

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