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What You Need To Know About Floaters, Mucus And Strings In Your Eyes

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Cloudy, stringy, slimy, and Itchy are not words you should be associating with your eyes. In fact, if you’ve noticed floaters, mucus or strings you’ve been “fishing” out of your eyelids it is time to book an eye exam. These pesky gloops are irritating, distracting and worrisome, but it might give you peace of mind to learn the most common causes, followed up with an optometrist appointment to investigate the root cause of your particular condition. 

Diagnose the Cause of Your Eye Floaters at our Calgary Eye Clinic

At our Calgary eye clinic in Market Mall, our team of highly experienced eye doctors can perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine the health of your eye while considering contributing factors to get to the root of the issue. It’s important not to ignore this warning sign, however irritating yet minor it may seem. 

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The Sticky Truth Behind Floaters, Mucus And Strings In Your Eyes


A floater is a term that refers to specs, dots and cloudy shadows or spots in your vision. They may move away as you try to focus on them. 

Common causes of floaters:

  • Eye injuries
  • Aging 
  • Nearsightedness (myopia)
  • Infection or disease that is causing inflammation
  • Bleeding 
  • Detached, partially detached, or torn retina
  • Post-surgery 
  • Medications
  • Diabetic retinopathy

Why you need to book an eye exam:

While it could be a minor issue, eye floaters could be a sign of a serious underlying condition or illness that requires treatment and needs to be diagnosed during an eye exam. 

Mucus Discharge In The eye

Mucus in the eye may build up at the tear ducts or along the lash line and may be yellow or white in one or both eyes. This will appear differently than the “sleep” that is expelled when sleeping. Discharge from the eye could be a sign of debris in the eye or of infection such as pink eyes. If it is persistent, this is cause for concern and a definite eye exam is in order.

Signs of an eye infection include:

  • Mucus discharge
  • Burning or stinging
  • Itching 
  • Redness
  • swelling

Why you need to book an eye exam:

To find the cause of the mucus or eye infection, you’ll need to book an eye exam ASAP. Your optometrist will be able to diagnose the cause and advise antibiotics, creams/ ointments, eye drops and warm compresses to soothe the eyes and clear the infection and mucus. 

Strings In The Eye- Mucus Fishing Syndrome

Do you find yourself fishing out strings of white floaters from your eye or eyelid? Mucus can naturally build up from irritation on the layer of tears that coat the surface of the eye The first step is to stop pulling it out. Let them be and definitely don’t touch the eyelid or surface with unsanitized fingers which will cause further irritation. The stringy mucus you are pulling out is most likely caused by:

  • Irritation or infection from bacteria
  • Dacryocystitis (clogged tear ducts)
  • Dry eyes or dry eye syndrome
  • Allergies
  • Blepharitis (eyelid infection) 
  • Body-focused Repetitive Disorder (a compulsive fixation)

Why you need to book an eye exam:

You could try taking allergy medication to see if the problem takes care of itself, however, it would be best to book an eye exam to rule out anything else and get treatment sooner than later. Make sure to mention your symptoms when going for an eye exam so the optometrist knows to look for a diagnosis and cause. Some of the causes above can be managed and treated with antibiotics, dry eye treatment or even counselling.

Calgary Eye Exams at our NW Optometry Clinic

Whether your symptoms are new and irritating or you have become accustomed to them, it is still important to book an eye exam and diagnose the cause of your eye mucus, floaters or discharge. Call your eye care professional to book an eye exam, or visit an emergency eye clinic if your vision is impacted or you experience an eye emergency. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your eyes, rather than risk your vision. At Market mall optometry, a qualified optometrist will be able to advise and treat your eye concern, treat the symptoms and find the cause. We offer comprehensive vision services, including eye examseye emergency care, and cataract management, to ensure we meet all your needs.

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Why visit an eye doctor instead of the emergency department?

An optometrist has focused experience diagnosing and treating eye conditions and is trained specifically to handle eyes and prevent vision loss. While there are many eye emergencies an optometrist can help with, however, it is always a good idea to call ahead and ask if they can help.

Is an eye infection an emergency?

An eye infection can be an emergency, especially an infection of the cornea, which evolves quickly. Even if you think it is “just” pink eye, other eye conditions can present similar symptoms but require more close attention. If you are experiencing symptoms of an eye infection, consult your eye care professional. 

Are red eyes a serious eye concern?

Red eyes can be a sign of minor irritation or something more concerning such as dry eyes or an eye infection. If your red-eye symptoms continue to be present for more than a day, book an appointment with an optometrist near you. 



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