Eye Discharge

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Eye Discharge Symptoms & Signs

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Symptoms & Signs

Eye discharge occurs whenever there is excess fluid in the eye. Eye discharge may be clear and watery, like tears, or in the case of infections, it may be thick and opaque. There are many causes of eye discharge, ranging from infections to allergic reactions to eye injury. Irritation of the eyes is a frequent cause of watery eye discharge. Allergic reactions can cause itchy, watery eyes. Both allergies and infections cause pinkeye, or conjunctivitis. Eye discharge associated with infections is usually accompanied by other symptoms including redness (bloodshot appearance), burning, blurred vision, or eye pain. Photophobia (sensitivity to light) can be associated with eye infections. Most causes of eye discharge are not serious and can be easily treated. Eye discharge can be accompanied by other symptoms, including crust, matting of the eyelids, or tenderness.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/24/2017

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REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Causes of Eye Discharge
    • Allergy (Allergies) An allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. ...learn more »
    • Blepharitis Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids. Acne rosacea, Staphylococcal bacteria, allergies, sensitivities to makeup or contact...learn more »
      In This Article
      Blepharitis Article
      • Blepharitis facts
      • What is blepharitis?
      • What are the different types of blepharitis?
      • What causes blepharitis?
      • Is blepharitis contagious?
      • What blepharitis symptoms and signs?
      • How do health care professionals diagnose blepharitis?
      • What are complications of blepharitis?
      • What types of health care professionals treat blepharitis?
      • What are medical treatment options for blepharitis? Are there home remedies for blepharitis?
      • What is the prognosis for blepharitis?
      • How long does blepharitis last?
      • Is it possible to prevent blepharitis?
    • Common Cold The common cold (viral upper respiratory tract infection) is a contagious illness that may be caused by various viruses. Symptoms...learn more »
    • Corneal Ulcer A corneal ulcer is an open sore on the cornea. Infection is a common cause of corneal ulcer. Symptoms and signs of corneal ulcer...learn more »
      In This Article
      Corneal Ulcer Article
      • Corneal ulcer facts
      • What is a corneal ulcer?
      • What does a corneal ulcer look like?
      • What are the causes of a corneal ulcer?
      • What are risk factors for corneal ulcers?
      • What are corneal ulcer symptoms?
      • What are corneal ulcer signs?
      • What types of doctors treat corneal ulcers?
      • How does a health care professional diagnose a corneal ulcer?
      • What are corneal ulcer treatment options?
      • What is the healing time for a corneal ulcer?
      • What is the prognosis of a corneal ulcer?
      • Is it possible to prevent corneal ulcers?
    • Dry Eyes Dry eyes are caused by an imbalance in the tear-flow system of the eye, but also can be caused by the drying out of the tear...learn more »
      In This Article
      Dry Eyes Article
      • Dry eye syndrome facts
      • What is dry eye syndrome?
      • What is the impact of dry eye syndrome?
      • What causes dry eye syndrome? What are the types of dry eye disease?
      • What are the risk factors for dry eye syndrome?
      • What are dry eye syndrome symptoms and signs?
      • What tests do health care professionals use to diagnose dry eye syndrome?
      • What is the medical treatment for dry eye syndrome?
      • What types of medications are used in the medical treatment of dry eye syndrome?
      • Can self-care treatments and remedies help alleviate dry eyes?
      • What is chronic dry eye syndrome?
      • Can surgery treat dry eye syndrome?
      • What other therapies are used in the treatment of dry eye syndrome?
      • What are the health complications of dry eye syndrome?
      • What is the prognosis of dry eye syndrome?
      • Is it possible to prevent dry eye syndrome?
    • Eye Allergy Eye allergy (or allergic eye disease) are typically associated with hay fever and atopic dermatitis. Medications and cosmetics...learn more »
      In This Article
      Eye Allergy Article
      • Eye allergy facts
      • Eye allergy introduction
      • What causes eye allergies?
      • What is the basic anatomy of the outer eye?
      • Why are the eyes an easy target for allergies?
      • What are symptoms and signs of eye allergies?
      • What are allergic eye conditions?
      • What are eyelid allergies (also called contact eye allergies)?
      • What conditions can be confused with eye allergies?
      • What is the treatment for eye allergies? Are there home remedies for eye allergies?
      • What is the prognosis of eye allergies?
      • Is it possible to prevent eye allergies?
    • Eye Care and Eye Disorder Many common eye disorders resolve without treatment and some may be managed with over-the-counter (OTC) products. It's important...learn more »
      In This Article
      Eye Care and Eye Disorder Article
      • Eye care introduction
      • What is the structure of the eye?
      • Which common disorders of the eye can (sometimes) be self-treated?
      • What common eye conditions usually require treatment by a ophthalmologist?
      • What types of OTC eye care products are there?
      • What inactive ingredients are contained in OTC eye care products?
    • Eye Strain Eye strain is a symptom caused by looking at something for a long time. Symptoms and signs include redness, light sensitivity,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Eye Strain Article
      • Eye strain facts
      • What is eye strain?
      • What causes eye strain?
      • What are the symptoms of eye strain?
      • What are the signs of eye strain?
      • How do health care professionals diagnose eye strain?
      • What is the treatment for eye strain?
      • What is the prognosis of eye strain?
      • Is it possible to prevent eye strain?
    • Is Pinkeye Contagious? Pinkeye (conjunctivitis) is inflammation of the conjunctiva. Whether pinkeye is contagious depends upon what is causing the...learn more »
      In This Article
      Is Pinkeye Contagious? Article
      • What is pinkeye?
      • Is pinkeye contagious? What is the incubation period for pinkeye?
      • How will I know when I have pinkeye?
      • How do people transmit pinkeye?
      • How long does pinkeye last? What is the contagious period for pinkeye?
      • When should I contact a health-care provider about pinkeye?
    • Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis) Pinkeye, also called conjunctivitis, is redness or irritation of the conjunctivae, the membranes on the inner part of the eyelids...learn more »
    • Sty A sty is a bump that forms on the eyelid as a result of a blocked gland. Styes may be caused by infections, burns, or trauma to...learn more »
    • Uveitis Uveitis is inflammation of the eye. Symptoms include blurred vision, eye pain, eye redness, photophobia, and floaters. Treatment...learn more »
      In This Article
      Uveitis Article
      • What is uveitis?
      • What causes uveitis?
      • What are uveitis symptoms?
      • What are the signs of uveitis?
      • What are the different types of uveitis?
      • What other medical conditions are associated with uveitis?
      • What specialties treat uveitis?
      • How do health-care professionals diagnose uveitis?
      • What is the treatment for uveitis?
      • Are there home remedies for uveitis?
      • What is the prognosis for uveitis?
      • What are the complications of uveitis?
      • Is it possible to prevent uveitis?
Other Causes of Eye Discharge
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Blocked Tear Duct
  • Ectropion
  • Entropion
  • Foreign Body in the Eye
  • Trauma or Irritation of the Eyes
  • Viral Infections
Examples of Medications for Eye Discharge


Symptoms & Signs A-Z List