When I have a cold, and I blow my nose...Why does snot bubble out the corner of my ey

This has happened to me for years…and its friggin gross.

I blow the nose, and either hold the corner of my eye shut, or mop up the snot afterwards.

Can anyone explain this to me?

This is my 1000th post, and I saved this question just for the occaision…I felt it appropriate to ask something profound and important to honor this important occaision…and what could be more appropriate than this? :wink:

There is a tube which connects the corner of your eye with your throat. Its purpose is to allow the tears produced by your eyes to drain away without dribbling down your face.

I can’t remember the name of the tube, but I’m sure one of our medical experts will fill in the blank.

“You can’t run away forever; but there’s nothing wrong with getting a good head start.” — Jim Steinman

Dennis Matheson — Dennis@mountaindiver.com
Hike, Dive, Ski, Climb — www.mountaindiver.com

Congrats on your 1000th post…what a great topic…
Anyway, it’s all connected in there- some better then others…my husband can blow bubbles out his eyes underwater (what a skill!) but I suspect he has a lot of holes in his head (and sinuses) from years of sniffing stuff up his nose. (He doesn’t do that anymore.).

Some mornings it just doesn’t seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.

Yeah on tv there were some guys who could squirt milk 9 feet from that location of their eyes.

I sometimes think it’s mucus, but it’s not.

<font color=“Red”>Congrats, Kelli!</font>

The tear duct in my right eye was damaged, so I can only cry with one eye.

Er, umm… Not that I would, of course. I’m a guy. We don’t cry.

Love ya


Great post, Kelli!! Congrats!!

I think those tubes are the Eutychian tubes. :slight_smile:

I think you mean eustachian tubes, and no, those are the tubes that connect your inner ear with your throat. The tubes that connect your eyes to the inside of your nose are called simply tear ducts.

Live a Lush Life
Da Chef

Ok…here’s another question…why doesnt air blow through the same hole if I hold my nose and mouth shut and blow?My ears pop…resulting in dizziness…but no air through the tear ducts.
Next cold I get, I am gonna try the milk thing. :slight_smile:

I can do the whole blowing air thing. I have some sort of bad sneeze reaction to any liquids in my nose, so no shooting milk, sorry. But air and bubbles, oh yeah.


We are the children of the Eighties. We are not the first “lost generation” nor today’s lost generation; in fact, we think we know just where we stand - or are discovering it as we speak.

I had a liitle league coach who could blow smoke out of the corners of his eyes. This was a curious but otherwise unremarkable fact until about a year ago when I had a nosebleed so severe that my sinuses filled with blood and blood began to leak out the corners of my eyes. As distressed as I was by the whole situation I knew I hadn’t sprung a new leak unknown to science – thanks to Coach Lookabill.

BTW, this is an excellent way to get immediate service at the emergency room.

I think the reason you don’t get the same effect when trying to clear your ears is that you close the nasal passages at the back of your throat when you do that. At least I think I do.

Finally, don’t think you’re unique, kelli, although you may have a greater ability in this area than most. We all get a little crust in the corners of our eyes. In my family we called it “sleep”. We just didn’t realize it was snot.

If you’re really good at this I suggest you take up smoking and coach little league. You never know when some other kid might need this info.

p.s. Congrats on the millenial post. A truly fitting topic for such a milestone.

Strangers have the best candy.

Actually, the eustation tubes connect the middle ear with the throat, it’s so that the drum remains in a neutral position despite barometric pressure changes. I used to be able to blow air through my eyes but it gave me a headache to blow that hard,

whoa whoa whoa! I refuse to believe that the stuff that gets in the corners of your eyes is mucus. When I had pinkeye about two years ago I had that stuff like you wouldn’t believe, and it definately wasn’t coming from my sinuses. It’s just some kind of crap that the tear ducts produce.
My mucus varies greatly in color but is generally very light colored when thick enough to have color. Eye stuff is always the same yellow-brown color. Isn’t there a column about this in one of the books?

The sandy grit that collects in your eyes at night is the residue of dried tears.

Your tear glands work nearly all the time, keeping the eye wet with (basically) salt water. During the day, all this liquid drains down into the nose through the aforementioned tear ducts. But when you’re lying down with your eyes closed, some tears spill out the sides or leak out between your lids. The water evaporates, leaving behind salt crystals and some other gunk.

Laugh hard; it’s a long way to the bank.


I won’t insist that it’s mucous. But I’m gonna check!

Strangers have the best candy.

The ducts from each eye to the corresponding side of your nasal passages are called ‘nasolachrymal canals’, not ‘tear ducts’. Tear ducts are the passages that transport tears from your tear glands to your eyes.

I don’t know anything about what you can and can’t do with them if you’re talented enough, or what sorts of things can go wrong with them such that x happens. I’m not a nasolachrymal athlete. But if you’re good at some of those things, you may be able to get on some of the daytime TV shows that I never watch.


I believe that tears are composed of three layers: oily (outer layer), watery (middle), and mucous (inner).

Next time you see a movie and the girl is crying, and the male hero reaches out in a sensitive manner to gather the girl’s tears in his hands, just think that it’s mucus he’s holding on to! Yet when the girl’s nose starts running because she has the sniffles we never see the hero gallantly wipe her nose with his bare hand.


“For what is myth, but the deconstructive prose of a missing literary critic who lisps?”
–Harry Harrison

<Font size=5> 1000 Posts! Hooray!</font>
<font face=“Tempus Sans ITC”> Don’t let them get you down, Kelli. I love you just the way you are; eye boogers & all! </font>


I just want to thank you for giving me yet another reason to stay with my wife. I’ve had fifteen years to get accustomed to her, um, quirks, and I don’t believe I could do that all again.

Eye snot. Gross.

Dr. Fidelius, Charlatan
Associate Curator Anomalous Paleontology, Miskatonic University
“There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be.”
-Charles Sanders Pierce

Aw…thanks Dan. You are so sweet.

And there are no actual boogers, its more like snot. :smiley: