Home Lifestyle WATCH: What is ‘mucus fishing syndrome’, the disgusting craze sweeping TikTok?

WATCH: What is ‘mucus fishing syndrome’, the disgusting craze sweeping TikTok?

I’m hoping you’ve got the insight to stay away from this trend.

The most recent disgusting TikTok craze is called “mucus fishing”, in which users squeeze mucus out their sore eyes with ear buds and their fingers because, for others, it’s visually pleasant or calming to watch.

However, physicians caution that it might be harmful to one’s optical and mental health.

Eye-picking can, at worst, result in “mucus fishing syndrome,” which is when someone continuously yanks out normal, healthy fluids from their eyes.

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Ophthalmologist Rony Sayegh claims on TikTok that the mucus also includes a variety of chemicals that shield the eyes from infections with bacteria, fungus, and viruses. Sayegh said that most individuals are unaware that normal tears are insufficient to maintain enough lubrication in the eyes.

He said it’s typically inappropriate to reach into one’s eyes. “Repeated damage caused by dirty fingers has the potential to cause eye infections … Additionally, scarring on the eye’s surface or the inside of the eyelid is possible.

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Plastic surgeon Anthony Youn said in a TikTok that taking out eye mucus will just cause the eyes to moisten more as they attempt to compensate, similar to itching a rash or picking a scab.

He said in the video: “I highly recommend against using this hack as the more mucus you remove from your eyes, the more it returns.”

And specialists warn that it’s not simply harmful to eye health.

Clinical psychology director Jordan Vyas-Lee warned his followers that seeing individuals repeatedly do the pokey move on TikTok might be harmful to viewers’ mental health.

According to Vyas-Lee, “mucus fishing” shares a trait with OCD and is frequently linked to brain regions that deal with “automatic behaviour” not controlled by thought or even apprehensive emotions.

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“A habit route is swiftly created in the brain after a behavioural pattern has been begun, in the case of TikTok-induced (’mucus fishing syndrome’), probably by copying and fad.”

Dr Sayegh said that trichotillomania, a condition in which individuals constantly pluck off their own hair, can coexist with ‘mucus fishing’. When they pull at their eyelashes, it can also irritate the eyes, which increases the production of mucus.

He said due to all of these factors, ‘mucus fishing syndrome’ might be difficult to identify. Some patients may not acknowledge or even deny often touching their eyes, which might complicate the diagnosis.

‘Mucus fishing syndrome’ can change mood and may have an impact on social skills, according to Vyas-Lee.

Picking sessions may take even more time, some patients may start to avoid social events out of a fear of being judged, and low mood or anxiety may worsen over time as a result.

How then can you learn to suppress the impulse once you’ve begun ‘mucus fishing’? Sayegh believes that one crucial step in solving the issue is understanding the source of the need to pick.

Vyas-Lee recommends counselling, anti-anxiety, or depression medication if ‘mucus fishing’ has become out of hand. However, stopping the eye-picking cycle is essential for maintaining good eyesight.

Controlling the underlying issue that is causing the excessive mucus production is key in treating ‘mucus fishing syndrome’, according to Sayegh. Avoiding touching your eyes is crucial to ending the illness cycle.

Read the latest issue of IOL Health digital magazine here.