A Deep Dive Into Matongo

How do you know you’ve truly had beauty sleep? Simple, you’ll wake up with a rather ugly morning face. The kind that if you posted on Instagram and captioned “I woke up like this,” we’d all believe you. Sometimes, this beauty-sleep-face comes with its extra share of matongo.

What is matongo in English?

Matongo translates to rheum in English (pronounced as room). It also goes by various informal names like sleep crust, eye gunk or eye boogers.

Matongo is simply eye discharge consisting of skin cells, mucus and other debris that collects in the corner of your eye when you are asleep. The tear fluid is responsible for cleaning your eye and will constantly work to remove these substances both day and night. During the day, however, blinking and natural tears prevent eye boogers from accumulating and that’s why you’ll rarely get matongo.

Is it a cause for worry?

No, matongo is typically a sign of healthy eyes. During the day, your eyes collect all sorts of foreign substances including dust, eyelashes and eye make-up. Cleaning these up helps you to retain normal eye function.

However, here are some instances when this eye gunk is a sign of unhealthy eyes:

  • Discharge is yellow or green in color
  • Sudden increase in the amount of discharge, sometimes making it difficult to open your eye.
  • Pain or sensitivity in the eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Changes in vision

In these instances, the discharge can cause or be a symptom of eye-related illnesses or allergies. This is why you should always refrain from rubbing your eyes. If it’s a viral or bacterial infection, you could infect the other eye or pass it on to someone else. Visit an ophthalmologist if you notice any of these signs and symptoms.

How to avoid sleep crust-related issues

Sometimes, amounts of sleep crust can be increased by changes in your normal life such as using eye products like lenses, applying eye make-up, allergies and climate or weather changes. To prevent such issues from messing with your eye health it is advisable to:

  • Remove all make-up and wash your face with a wet warm cloth before sleep.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes when you wake up. Wash your face instead to avoid eye infections.
  • Address allergies affecting your eye health as soon as you note them.

Sleep easy

From now on, you can rest easy when you wake up to matongo. Embrace your “beauty sleep face”. It’s the true definition of having a good night’s sleep. And hey if you’re confident enough, take a photo right when you wake up and post it on Instagram with the caption — Seriously, I woke up like this. Feel free to tag us (@MoKokenya).

P.S. If you’re not waking up to matongo in your eyes, maybe you are not having good sleep. Fix it by buying a MoKo mattress😉.


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