If you’ve mucus coming out of your eyes when you blow your nose, then you’re experiencing what is called nasolacrimal duct reflux. It’s when the content from your nose, such as the mucus, travels up and exits through your eyes via the nasolacrimal duct that connects your eyes and nose. The mucus coming out of your eyes is not normal and should be looked at by your doctor, and if left untreated, it can lead to conjunctivitis.
Whenever you are in a position where you have fallen terribly sick, getting a good long rest and taking care of yourself is the only way to get better. During this time, your body goes through many difficulties, including that of a blocked nose. Your air passageway is blocked from all the mucus accumulated due to the cold you caught.
So, as a measure, you definitely have to keep on blowing your nose to get the excess mucus out of your system and breathe again normally. What if blowing your nose one of those times ends up with mucus exiting your eyes instead of your nose?
As disgusting as it sounds, it does happen, and there is a reason why you should be concerned and learn what to do next!
Blocked nasal passageway
The easiest way to understand the relationship between your nose and eyes and how the mucus could come out from your eyes can be explained by the blocked nasal passageway.
A blocked nasal passage occurs when your tear duct is wholly or partially obstructed. Also known as nasolacrimal duct obstruction, it leads your eyes to become itchy, irritated, and watery.
This passageway is responsible for the free flow of liquid from the right places. They form at the corner of your eye nearest to your nose.
They run underneath the skin and connect to your facial bones and nose. This duct also keeps your eyes the right amount of wet they should be.
- Lacrimal glands create tears.
- Puncta are small openings at your eye corner where tears flow out.
- Nasolacrimal ducts connect to the puncta and drain the rest of your tear fluid into the nose.
How does blocked nasal affect me?
This is where it gets interesting. This blocked nasal passageway becomes the sole reason for your mucus to come out of your eyes instead of your nose.
Since the nasolacrimal duct connects your eyes and nose, it can lead to a fluid exchange.
This means the mucus from your nose can travel out from your eyes as well, called nasolacrimal duct reflux.
Nasolacrimal duct reflux
There isn’t much information provided on this issue yet. There’s not much description about it in the medical literature. But nasolacrimal reflux can occur both in the supine position and with one blowing its nose as well. It’s when the content in the nose goes up to the eyes.
In a study conducted, seventeen subjects, 8 with histories of recurrent acute and/or chronic conjunctivitis and 9 without such histories, were investigated for nasolacrimal reflux.
In the study, reflux was determined by supine with head down, sitting upright and blowing nose gently or vigorously, and with or without one nostril plugged.
Amongst all the subjects, 8 with an acute or chronic history of conjunctivitis, 6 had reflux. While gravity made it possible for some, it was because they blew their nose too hard for others.
If this is what you’ve faced, you should know that the content is not just the mucus. It may be mixed up with normal flora such as bacteria staphylococcus and or streptococcus. These can further lead to you getting conjunctivitis.
When to see a doctor
From the study mentioned above, there are cases when the mucus you get can be from blowing your nose too hard or due to gravity. What you need to be careful about is what you do next.
If once you’ve had mucus coming out of your eye by blowing your nose, then you need to watch yourself and stop blowing your nose at all.
Using tissues to clean your nose from inside without blowing gently can get the excess mucus out. But if you still get mucus due to gravity, even when you’re not blowing your nose, you should immediately seek your doctor.
Otherwise, you can get conjunctivitis in your eye, and that could be an excruciating process for you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can sinus drainage come out of eyes?
This is a scarce thing to happen to people when they see mucus exiting through their eyes. This means you’re facing a blocked nasal passageway or nasolacrimal duct reflux to be more detailed. It’s when the contents from your nose travel up your eyes and exit through them. This isn’t normal and should be immediately treated.
Can blowing your nose too hard cause eye damage?
Excessive blowing can lead to several kinds of damages to one’s eyes. As your eyes and nose are connected via a passageway, blowing your nose too hard can also impact your eyes.
At the same time, it can also lead to frequent nosebleeds or even a subconjunctival hemorrhage (broken blood vessel in the eye).
Does sinusitis cause eye problems?
If your sinus issues are severe, you might also face complications with your eyes, such as vision problems.
Your sinus infection might even spread to your eye socket, causing a reduced vision or possibly blindness that can be permanent too.
If you’ve had a history of sinus or have faced chronic conjunctivitis before, then it is all the more possible for you to go through something like this.
Whenever you’re sick, you shouldn’t take things lightly. While blowing their nose can help some people relieve their sickness, the mucus comes out the right way out. For others, they might see it exiting from their eyes.
While there are no home remedies for this, stop blowing your nose should be the first thing you should do. I would suggest visiting your doctor is the best possible way to get it treated right away. If you ignore this issue, you might end up facing other problems such as getting conjunctivitis.