Eyes Itch & Stringy Mucus in My Eyes – Am I Normal Doctor Oz?

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Eyes Itch & Stringy Mucus in My Eyes – Am I Normal Doctor Oz?

By on April 15, 2010

Doctor Oz was asked by a woman, as part of his “Am I Normal?” segment, if it is normal that her eyes itch, and she rubs her eyes and then pulls out a very long white string of mucus.

Dr. Oz said that this is not normal but is called Filamentary Keratitis, which means you have dry eyes or allergies which cause your eyes to deposit a waste material below your eye, which is the stringy mucus in your eye.  Basically, pulling the stringy mucus out of her eye is similar to a person popping a pimple.

Filamentary Keratitis Cure:

1.  Saline Eye Drops

You can use Saline Eye Drops to help keep your eyes from itching and from getting dry.

2.  Antihistamine Allergy Relief Tablets

You should use Antihistamine Allergy Relief Tablets to prevent your allergies from making your eyes irritated.

3.  NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine)

NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine) is used by hospitals and is very useful in helping to breakup mucus.

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Comments to Eyes Itch & Stringy Mucus in My Eyes – Am I Normal Doctor Oz?

  1. Bulldinkies .. nothing works!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. KEEPSMOKN says:

    nothing helps I’m always pulling strings of goo out of my eyes

  3. I have this same problem! I’ve worn contacts for 15 years, and the past 2 i’ve started getting this on top of my allergies which make my eyes itch nonstop! This spring there was literally a nonstop string coming out of my right eye

  4. I was actually trying to do research about this because I just had this happen to me. I’m the same as you Ashley. I wear contacts as well. My Dr. gave me new contacts to try because I work on a computer all the time I needed a more breathable contact. I always thought it was my allergies because my eyes would start itching right away. But after pulling out 3″-4″ pieces of ‘string’ out of my eyes I was starting to worry it was my new contacts or worse, I have an infection. This kind of makes me feel a bit better about it, even though it is still quite annoying. I think I’m still going to the Opt. to get it checked out.

  5. bladibladiblah says:

    The stringy mucous I experienced was relieved when I changed contact lens brands. Turns out I had an allergic reaction to the lenses which I have used for months. Doctors gave me all sorts of creams, medications, etc… I was allergic to Cooper XE and went back to my good old Acuvue 2. None of the stringy mess anymore.

  6. don iarussi says:

    tried all above, they do not work……why is this ignored by media? it is becoming an epidemic

  7. try looking up: mucus fishing syndrome

    it is an OCD picking disorder. you become addicted to picking mucus strings out of your eyes.
    problem is, it becomes a cascade effect bc once u pick it, it stimulates the eye to produce more mucus. vicious cycle.

  8. i don’t wear contacts,never have but i do have allergies, and these mucus strings that i pull out are up to 4-5 inches.. they are very irritating and have been going on for the past few years.. once i pull one out it hurts my eyeball and makes them water..but i have to pull them out cause if i don’t they impair my vision.. every half hour or so i will have another 4-5 inch string.. what is there to do, other than eye drops?? if i stop pulling them out, are they going to stop producing?

  9. I have had Filamentary Keratitis for 20+ years and IT IS NOT AN OCD CONDITION CC. The eye mucus is bad that actually impairs my vision. My maternal Uncle also has it. I use eye drops several times a day. This is the first time I have looked to see if anyone else out there has the problem and was surprised to find just how many sites there are.

    I do not use tissue or my fingers anymore (since my 20’s) I use eye drops and moisten the end of a regular Qtip with the drops and start at the inner corner of my eye to catch an end of the mucous string and gently rotate the Qtip (NOT TOUCHING MY EYES WITH IT) and it pulls the mucus out from both top & bottom.. However this is often short lived relief as they always come back. I’ll often rub my eye. ~ I’ll close my eye, put my fingers over the top and rub by sort of moving the eyelids around ontop of the eye, this usually reveals some ‘leads’. Does anyone else do that?

    My Optometrist told me to see an allergist about this condition immediately as it is considered rare?? I actually just cleaned my eyes about 10 minutes ago & off I go for another round so I can my computer! God Bless you all, I will keep you all in my prayers as I know how awefull this condition feels especially being a woman who can no longer wear eye makeup due to condition. Best of Luck to you xoxoxo Kim

  10. Well well well! I thought I was the only one. kind of bitter sweet. Sweet because I’m not alone, bitter because others feel my pain. It has been going on for many many years and its not changing! Once I pull it out they keep coming and coming. Then after I cant find anymore it still feels like their there. I get so angry! I don’t wear contacts or glasses so what is causing this? I’m only 25 I hope this don’t last forever. Please if anyone finds a cure please let me know. I can truly say I know how your guys feel! :(

  11. Hey I am 15, and I wear contacts and I also have horrible allergies, but recently I have been putting contact solution in my eye, but at night my eye with get shut closed because I fall asleep and in the morning its all over my eyes and I can’t open them.. Has this happened to anyone else? I don’t see why I have this, I thought that everyone had it, til I ask my friends and their like what are you talking about.

  12. I have this problem every year around the same time. Patanol presceiption eye drops cure this for me within a few days.

  13. im so happy im not the only one who suffers with this. i’ve had it for about half a year now, on and off.. i’ll go a couple of days sometimes weeks without it happening but then bam i’ll get sore itchy eyes and within a few minutes i’ll have long strands of stringy goo coming out my eye. everytime i pick a piece out more tends to come, sometimes my eye gets seriously swollen because of how much i pick at it and sometimes i tend to go to sleep and wake up unable to open my eyes because they are stuck together. its soo annoying.
    cure ?!?!?!?!?

  14. SweetKim – I agree with everything you’ve said. I do the exact same things.

    I’m a 25 yr old male, no contacts or glasses and this has been happening to me for over ten years now. I’m a software engineer so I always thought it was related to the amount of time I sit in front of a computer. It probably still is, I’ll start using eye drops more often and see if that helps.

  15. i have had this problem since the age 14 and i am now 32. it is gross indeed. any doctor whithout this problem will not care or know what to do, so they have become a wast of time. most males believe its because of masterbation, and for some it is, but i am married and have tried this no *** theory. it is far from the truth. honestly iv learned the best thing to do is keep it as far away from your family and friends as possible because it is very contagious. even a small hand shake, or grocery cart, or door knob, or steering wheel, or even a dollar bill can contain the germ. if you are single and are looking to marry, i would advise you understand that there is stronger genes out there that heal themselfs overtime. when i kiss a girl, she will get it. and if she heals naturaly overtime, that means she has a stronger gene. this became very important to me because i did not want to watch my children grow up with the same trouble i had, especialy because of me. some people will get it and NEVER get rid of it. my wife got it a few times over the years and it just went away, the same for my son. i have tried many eye drops, both perscribed by doctors and non perscribed. the most damaging is visine. the most helpfull seems to be Equate lubricating & rewetting drops. these eye drops do not solve the problem, but they sort of gather all the junk and add it together so your able to buy some time. if you do alot of research you will learn that there is this one place that does this one surgury that is only half successfull. so even if you wast thousands of dollars, you can still get it again by coming home and touching something you touched before, or by getting it from someone else.
    Regaurding my statement on masterbation, it is also biblical. if you read the book of Job, you will see that his friends were accusing him of masterbation. of course he did not, but they were sure of it. they come at him with very harsh words and he defends himself confirming thier accusations.
    this curse has in many ways been a blessing. for example, i have seen many of my friends become infected over the years and right away, thier wife or girlfriend leaves them. they leave because of the shallowness of thier hearts. If your manager at work gets it, it almost makes it impossible for him to function and is soon out the door. it will basicaly cause you to see who your real friends are. the people that never cared about you will quickly dissapear.
    After many years, i have no othere choice but to believe God gave it to me for a reason, and God does not remove it from me for a reason. although im most of the time alone, im 100% surrounded by my true friends and family. this germ wil also cause you to see past the flesh. you will start to read body language 1000 times more than you ever did. you will start to read the spirit of a person almost as if to read thier thoughts. you will become less distracted with meaningless things. you will be more appreciative of those who love you. your paths will be far from the proud and concieded. you WILL be humbled.

  16. Route cause OCULAR ROSACEA..See an OPHTHALMOLOGIST. ..Wash eyes with diluted solution of warm water and baby shampoo. Use liquid tears 4 to 6 times during the day. Tobradex or something like that antibiotic cream in eye at night. Plus usually prescribed steroid eye drops. Also antihistamines and oral antibiotics are used such as Doxacycline. May not be correct spelling. No real cure only control condition.

  17. EyeKnow : You are so young, like I was once :-) I had some relief from this condition for about the past month, I don’t know why? Today it came back full force. I have been cleaning my eyes for about 3 hours now. ARGHHHH HAS ANYONE TRIED BLUR RELIEF?

    My vision is quickly deteriorating. I had Tri-Focals made in earlier this year – TRI FOCALS?! IDK. They worked for about 2 weeks after 3 adjustments I gave up. I wear my prescription sunglasses most so I can see to drive. One of the Eye Drs. I saw told me about a product called Blur Relief but can’t find it in any stores although CVS, Walgreens & such come up on google. I just found this site http://www.pennherb.com/blur-relief-eye-drops-0-A39 it’s $13 a bottle! As much Visine etc as i go though I can’t imagine being able to afford this. The site says:
    Common use: Homeopathic eye drops for blurry vision, poor night vision (glare), presbyopia, dry, red & tired eyes.


    HAS ANYONE TRIED BLUR RELIEF? I am at the point where when it’s dark I can not see to drive so I really want to know if ANYONE HAS TRIED THIS BLUR RELIEF & IT WORKED – OR NOT. With winter coming that means being shut down at 5pm! oh no :-&

    God Bless You All – Kim

  18. I am 50 yrs old, and have had this problem over half of my life. I’ve already done the baby shampoo/antibiotic treatment a few times…to no abail. I used to not even answer my door without makeup on…now I haven’t been able to wear it at all for several yrs. I’m afraid it has affected my vision…in the past few yrs my vision has been decreasing at least 10 ft. per year….and I’m afraid it is going to cause blindness. I can hardly see at all now without painful straining and constant burning and seems now like peeling of th inside layer of my eyes and eye lids. I’m not so sure that it isn’t constantly peeling away…sounds crazy…but so does my fybromyalgia….related maybe???

  19. i have had this eye problem you speak of for many years and lately it has been so bad that it keeps me up at night and i find myself rubbing my eyes in my sleep making it worse. i take claritin/zyrteck during the day and benedryl at night and nothing helps. its realy taking a toll on me. i do also use the saline as well as other Dr. recommended drops! i am at my wits end! please help!!

  20. TOBRADEX ointment, which is prescribed works the best….relieves redness and irritation around eyelids…..although i have used it many times in which i am currently using it now, the problem still has not ceased…. i go to an opthamologist. if u do not have insurance it may become a problem. TOBRADEX ointment is very exspensive and comes in a very small tube. i live in tennessee and it costed $215.99….. alot of money for something so small and doesnt cease the problem…if u have not been seen by an opthomologist i advise u to do so… i was told i have a cronic staff infection… it is highly contagious. i no longer can wear eye makeup. i started out getting styes. my daughter which is only 2 has started developing styes now….was ur eyes2-3 times daily with warm water and BABY wash! if ur eyes start itching u can try getting a cold wet rag to help soothe. my eyelids get so irritated that it burns to use saline drops. the corners of my eyes crack open….although when i do use the TOBRDEX itrelieves all of the symptoms except for the stringy mucus and watering of the eyes…of course they still itch as well. i do not wear contacts, but i do however have very bad allergies and aczema…hopefully one day all of us will be clear of these problems…

  21. The worst is not knowing anyone personally to relate to about how irritating this ‘condition’ can be! I dont wear contacts and would love to know what truly causes this.

  22. Ive been having this problem since January, and have been researching since. Im glad Istumbled across this site. No one I know has this problem. I showed my friend the other day and it looked like she would throw up. Im glad Im not the only one and its caused by allergies and nothing too serious. Will make an apppointment with a Ophthamologist and maybe get a good prescription. Thanks a lot guys

  23. I have too! I’ve pulled strings and globs of mucus from both eyes and it kinda hurts. After I pull them out I put a warm compress on my lids to decrease the swelling. What are we going to do? I wear contacts.

  24. dwcolter says:

    Im 25 and have been suffering from this for at least a decade. The strings are usually in the bottom eyelid but lately they are in the top as well, these are 10x worse since you sometimes need to flip the upper eyelid “inside out” to get to the offending substance. My eyes are almost constantly irritated and nothing helps except benadryl and eyedrops all day long and then there is still a high chance there will be something in my eyes

  25. I too have had this for years. People who don’t suffer from it think I’m crazy, lol. I use eye drops probably 10-15 times a day. One thing I haven’t read on here that I do from time to time when it’s really bad, I get one of those little eye cups, like you get with an eye wash solution, I either fill the cup with the solution or sometimes distilled water, place the cup over the eye, securely so that no liquid escapes, rotate your eyes back and forth, up and down, side to side for a bit. Now pull the cup off and look in the solution. You should see the little mucus floating in there. Does this stop or cure it? No, but it is more effective than using your fingers all the time!

  26. Hi I’m 15 years old…..I started having this mucus about three years ago…..I didn’t take attention to it by then but now I just can’t stop taking this thing out….my family always tells me to stop touching my eyes but they don’t understand this…..every time I feel like it is there I just take it out…..I”ll be seing the doctor soon so I can get these eyedrops too..I’m afraid something wrong can happens to my eyes

  27. EyeSufferer says:

    I too suffer with this unknown eye mucus problem for about 20 years now. I have rubbed my eyes so much they have what seems like permanent dark circles under them. SweetKim described the condition best. I understood every thing she said and can relate. I have not really tried any treatments as I always thought I was alone in this–until now reading all these posts. I explained the condition to my eye Dr. before and she said she believed it had to do with my eye muscle control and referred me to therapy. I never went. I have noticed that when I rub the stringy mucus vigorously between my fingers I always find some type of tiny light thread/lint, its almost as if my eye is attracting debris from the air like a magnet. Recently my husband installed one of those blue lights in our room. It detects lint. I noticed that after toweling off I am covered in lint, especially my face. I shined the light on our bed and it was covered in lint that the naked eye cannot see. I am now wondering if all this time I have been getting these tiny pieces of lint in my eyes and it is causing my eyes to create this mucus that I am constantly retrieving. If this is the case, us sufferers may need to rid our lives of lint as much as possible. I know that sounds absurd, but we may need air filters, silk, etc, I already constantly wash my hands, so maybe drying them on the linty towels is making this condition worse.

  28. I too have suffered this for years. I’m a guy so no makeup. I don’t wear contacts. it isn’t an ocd thing because I don’t mess with it until it starts to irritate. have tried eyedrops but didn’t work. no insurance so can’t afford Dr or rx meds. any ideas???

  29. I thought this was normal! I had this for years! It freaks me out now that I know this is a sort of disease!! I’m 18 and I wear contacts since I was 14. I’m afraid to tell my parents about this because I know they’ll blame the contacts and force me to stop using them and wear specs. But how about the others who aren’t using contacts? So I guess it has nothing to do with contacts does it? :(

  30. amy moretza says:

    Omg isnt anyone here a doctor? Help us pleaaaaaaseeee

  31. Has anyone found anything that actually stops this? I have to say I don’t believe it is contagious as previously said! I’ve had it over a year and my parter is not affected xxx

  32. Two weeks ago I went to the eye dr with these same symptoms. She told me to take 2000 mg of omega-2 fatty acids. Plus, each night take a hot wash cloth (as hot as I could stand), place it over my eyes and massage from the brow downward to the lash and underneath my eye upward. I felt relief in 2 days. It’s been 2 weeks now and the results have been amazing. I purchased 100% Natural Omega-3 from Costco. It is manufactured by Pure Alaska Omega and is just under $20. It is a gel cap with 600 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids. (It is best disgested in the morning.) Direction was to continue for 3-6 months.
    My sister-in-law had the same complaint. Her eye dr gave her drops and told her to do the same thing with the hot rag.

  33. Heather Geran says:

    I feel like to all the people saying it’s “mucus fishing syndrome” I think maybe some people have that and others, not so much. This stringy goo just started for me recently I’m 26, and it hurts. I can actually feel the stuff in the bottom or top of my eye lids, and it does not come out with eye wash. So… tell me why, even if i don’t touch my eyes for a week, it comes back, all on it’s own? How am I supposed to just “stop touching your eye” when it’s pretty irritating. I use to wear contacts, but haven’t since this past spring when my allergies started. I first thought maybe it’s just allergies, and maybe for me it is, but the idea of leaving something in my eye, after having worked in eye doctors offices, it’s just not do-able. I wash my hands everytime and i use a saline solution to loosen it, but it doesn’t come out unless I “fish” for it. Even as I’m typing i can feel like something is in the bottom of my eye lid, there needs to be more research study into to this. Someone needs to figure out what this is that so many people are suffering from. This can not only be psychological, not when there is physical evidence that there is something coming from the eye.

  34. My son who is 8 and has allergies complained of his eye hurting yesterday. We though it was either something really small we couldn’t see or an eyelash was hidden. Today it was still bothering him and his eye was all red. Tonight he just pulled out about a one inch string of mucus. His eye feels better but we haven’t tried drops yet. He is really terrified of drops and the two times he had pink eye we ended up letting him close his eyes as he laid down and we put them in the corner and let them run into his eye. He doesn’t wear contacts or glasses. I did not see the mucus as he was brushing his teeth at the time with his dad but my husband described it to me. At first I asked him if it could have been a worm and he said he felt it and it just felt like mucus. What is going on.

  35. Has anyone noticed that they use powdered makeup? That the powder flys in the air as you put it on and then your eye cleanses itself and thus it turns into white looking mucus strings? Could this be the cause? That to me is in line with the theory of parsimony for my case. I plan on stopping the use of powder makeup and see if it goes away????

    Has anyone noticed itchy armpits at the onset of finding the mucus in eye?

  36. Kyran Grimm says:

    It’s an OCD effect. I stopped pulling them out and it went away. When you pull them out, you reiritate your eye. Notice the burning sensation sometimes. You could also have a skin tag on inside of eyelid.

  37. Alisha Klinger says:

    I think they are parasites! Someone get the microscope!

  38. Deborah Ferry says:

    What virtually all of you are describing is NOT filamentary keratitis. Dr. Oz is a blathering idiot. I have filamentary keratitis, and it does not involve any type of discharge, goop or watery strands that one can pick from his or her own eyes. What is does entail is the formation of minute filaments of epithelial cells on the cornea of the eye which then cause burning, intense pain, decreased visual acuity and extreme sensitivity to light. These filaments are so small that they can only be removed by an ophthalmologist using magnification. This is a chronic disorder; and, unfortunately, there is no cure for it. It is quite rare, however. Again, if you can pull the stuff out of your own eyes, you do not have filamentary keratitis. And be thankful you don’t have it.

  39. Deborah Ferry says:

    Based on what virtually all of you are describing, you do NOT have filamentary keratitis. Dr. Oz is a blathering idiot. I have filamentary keratitis, and it does not involve any discharge, goop or watery strands that one can pick out of his or her own eyes. What it does entail is the formation of minute filaments of epithelial cells on the cornea of the eye which can then cause burning, intense pain, decreased visual acuity and extreme sensitivity to light. These filaments are so small that they can only be removed by an ophthalmologist using magnification. This is a chronic disorder, and there is no cure. It is quite rare, however. Again, if you can pick any type of strands out of your eyes yourself, you most definitely do not have filamentary keratitis. And be thankful you don’t.

  40. Deborah Ferry says:

    Based on your descriptions, virtually none of you have filamentary keratitis. Dr. Oz is a blathering idiot. I have filamentary keratitis, and it does not involve any type of discharge, goop or watery strands that one can pick out of his or her own eyes. What is does entail is the formation of minute filaments of epithelial cells on the cornea of the eye which can then cause burning, intense pain, decreased visual acuity and extreme sensitivity to light. These filaments are so small that they can only be removed by an ophthalmologist using magnification. This disorder is chronic, and there is no cure. It is quite rare, however. Again, if you can pick the discharge or strands out of your own eyes, you do not have filamentary keratitis. And be thankful you don’t.

  41. blivasy930 says:

    I recently developed this problem around the Christmas holiday. At first my eyes itched, then I rubbed it, later I felt and somewhat saw something on my eye, so I went to the bathroom and pulled out a stringy material out of the eye. I was frightened and quite disturbed. I had no idea what it was. Looking online I saw it could be tied to allergies. And part of me was wondering if it was contributed by my eczema. My eczema causes dry skin all over from my arms to my hands to my face, and never lets up. I was curious if it was dry skin that falls in the eye when you rub it? I don’t know…all I really want is relief. My eyes get watery and my eczema flares, seriously makes me miserable. For my eyes I use eye drops constantly but found the cooling one, more correctly a brand of eye drops at walgreenss that starts with an “r” that helps immensely rohti? I think its called, the bottle is circular with colored lids.

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