Matting of the Eye

Who is this "Matt" and how does he get in your eye!!?? Patients are often very concerned with, and sometimes even alarmed by waking up and having their eyelids be "crusty" or "matted". It's not dangerous. Unfortunately it's also not very diagnostic. Patients and even other healthcare providers like nurses, etc often claim that the fact that it is matted means something (like it is or is not "pink eye", etc). But it doesn't. It only means that for whatever reason your eye is producing more mucous. An irritated eye will do this, allergies will do this, rubbing your eye will do this, blepharitis will do this, etc etc etc. And yes of course having bacterial or viral "pink eye" will also do this. In short: having your eye be crusted and matted in the morning is not enough information to narrow down a diagnosis very much. It does mean that SOMETHING is probably wrong, but it doesn't really tell you (or me) WHAT. Of course any and all information a patient can tell me is good, I'm just saying that patients and nurses who put extra significance in the fact that the eye is MATTING are not really telling me anything special except that "something" is wrong.


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