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),
- 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
- matting of the eyelids, or
Other causes of eye discharge
- Bacterial Infections
- Blocked Tear Duct
- Foreign Body in the Eye
- Trauma or Irritation of the Eyes
- Viral Infections
Causes of Eye Discharge
An allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. When these allergens come in contact with the body, it causes the immune system to develop an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to it. It is estimated that 50 million North Americans are affected by allergic conditions. The parts of the body that are prone to react to allergies include the eyes, nose, lungs, skin, and stomach. Common allergic disorders include hay fever, asthma, allergic eyes, allergic eczema, hives, and allergic shock.
Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids. Acne rosacea, staphylococcal bacteria, allergies, sensitivities to makeup or contact lens solutions, head lice, or other conditions may cause blepharitis. Symptoms and signs include itchy eyelids, burning sensation in the eyes, crusting of the eyelids, light sensitivity, red, swollen eyelids, loss of eyelashes, and dandruff of the lashes and eyebrows. Proper eyelid hygiene and a regular cleaning routine controls blepharitis.
Can an Optometrist Remove Foreign Bodies?
Some foreign bodies in the eye may be simple and go away on their own, whereas others require removal. Removal of foreign bodies from certain parts of the eye, such as the cornea, eyelid, or conjunctiva - with any appropriate instrument other than a scalpel or needle - can be performed by an optometrist as per the laws in the US.
The common cold (viral upper respiratory tract infection) is a contagious illness that may be caused by various viruses. Symptoms include a stuffy nose, headache, cough, sore throat, and maybe a fever. Antibiotics have no effect upon the common cold, and there is no evidence that zinc and vitamin C are effective treatments.
A corneal ulcer is an open sore on the cornea. Infection is a common cause of corneal ulcer. Symptoms and signs of corneal ulcer include redness, eye pain and discharge, blurred vision, photophobia, and a gray or white spot on the cornea. Treatment depends upon the cause of the corneal ulcer.
Eye allergy (or allergic eye disease) are typically associated with hay fever and atopic dermatitis. Medications and cosmetics may cause eye allergies. Allergic eye conditions include allergic conjunctivitis, conjunctivitis with atopic dermatitis, vernal keratoconjunctivitis, and giant papillary conjunctivitis. Dry eye, tear-duct obstruction, and conjunctivitis due to infection are frequently confused with eye allergies. Eye allergies may be treated with topical antihistamines, decongestants, topical mast-cell stabilizers, topical anti-inflammatory drugs, systemic medications, and allergy shots.
Eye strain is a symptom caused by looking at something for a long time. Symptoms and signs include redness, light sensitivity, headaches, and blurred vision. Symptoms may be treated by closing the eyes and taking a break from the visual task.
How Can I Get My Eye To Stop Twitching?
A blepharospasm (eye twitch) is a harmless, involuntary spasm of the muscle of the eyelids, which may resolve on its own. If the twitching isn't caused by an underlying condition, getting more rest and avoiding alcohol and caffeine may help stop it.
How Long Does It Take for a Stye to Go Away?
A stye, also known as a hordeolum, is a red, painful bump that forms either inside or outside the eyelid. An eye stye is mainly caused by a bacterial infection. A stye usually resolves in about seven days. However, some cases of stye require medical help. A stye may be sometimes confused with a chalazion. A chalazion is a painless bump that is on the eyelid. A chalazion, unlike a stye, is not caused by a bacterial infection.
Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis): Types, Treatment, and Symptoms
Pinkeye, also called conjunctivitis, is redness or irritation of the conjunctivae, the membranes on the inner part of the eyelids and the membranes covering the whites of the eyes. These membranes react to a wide range of bacteria, viruses, allergy-provoking agents, irritants, and toxic agents.
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 the eyelid. Most styes resolve on their own. The application of warm compresses can speed healing. In some cases, steroid injection or incision and drainage may be necessary. Keeping the area clean and consuming a diet high in omega-3-fatty acids may help prevent the formation of styes.
Uveitis is inflammation of the eye. Symptoms include blurred vision, eye pain, eye redness, photophobia, and floaters. Treatment may involve prescription eyedrops, antibiotics, and wearing dark glasses.
What Are Some Common Eye Infections?
An eye infection is a condition in which viruses, bacteria or other microbial agents may attack the eye. This can cause itching around the eyes or the eyes may turn pink. The infection can affect the eyelid, cornea or conjuctiva (inside lining of the eyelid).
What Are the Types of Eye Care?
Many common eye disorders resolve without treatment and some may be managed with over-the-counter (OTC) products. It's important to visit a physician or ophthalmologist is the problem involves the eyeball itself or the condition hasn't improved after 72 hours of use of an OTC eye care product.
What Causes Yellow Discharge From Eyes?
What is yellow discharge from your eye? Learn what causes it, how to recognize it, and how it is treated.
What Does An Eye Infection Look Like?
An eye infection may bring about the following changes in the eye: A pink tint in the whites of the eye, swollen red or purple eyelids, crusty lashes or lids, and/or discharge of fluids which may be yellow, green or clear.
What Is a Twitching Eye a Sign of?
A blepharospasm (eye twitch) is a harmless tic of the eyelid muscle, which may resolve on its own. Conditions that may cause eye twitch include blepharitis, dry eyes, light sensitivity or conjunctivitis. Nerve disorders can also cause eye twitching.
What Is Iritis?
Iritis is inflammation of the iris, the colored portion of the eye. Symptoms include a red, painful eye, blurry vision, and light sensitivity. Treatment usually involves cortisone eyedrops.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of a Chalazion?
Stye is painful inflammation and swelling on the eyelid with the accumulation of pus. It is an infection commonly caused by the bacterium, Staphylococcus. It is usually not possible to get rid of a chalazion completely overnight or “fast” because there are no shortcuts to the treatment. You can use warm compresses, gentle cleansers and painkillers to treat a chalazion or see your doctor for medical intervention or surgery.
When Should I Call the Doctor for My Newborn?
There are times when you can be entirely clueless about what is the right thing to do for your baby. It's perfectly normal to get worried about signs that may be entirely harmless. It may, however, be risky at times to avoid seemingly harmless signs in your baby that may be caused by serious health conditions. The best rule is when in doubt, contact your doctor.
Examples of Medications for Eye Discharge
- azithromycin (Zithromax): Potential COVID-19 Combo Drug
- erythromycin (Ery-Tab, PCE)
- gentamicin w/betamethasone eye-ear drops
- Maxidex (dexamethasone) Suspension
- Maxitrol (neomycin and polymyxin B sulfates and dexamethasone)
- Paremyd (hydroxyamphetamine Hydrobromide 1% and tropicamide 0.25%)
- polymyxin B sulfate and trimethoprim (Polytrim)
- sodium sulfacetamide suspension - topical (acne only), Klaron
- Upneeq (oxymetazoline hydrochloride)