Eye - Red Without Pus

Disponible En Espanol


Definition:

  • The eye looks irritated
  • Red or pink color of the white of the eye
  • May have increased tears (a watery eye)
  • Eyelid may be puffy (mildly swollen)
  • No pus or yellow discharge
  • Not caused by an eye injury

Causes

  • Pinkeye. When the white of the eye becomes pink or red, it’s called pinkeye. Conjunctivitis is another name for pinkeye.  The conjunctiva is the membrane that covers the white of the eye.  It becomes pink when it is infected or irritated. Pinkeye (conjunctivitis) has many causes.
  • Viral conjunctivitis is the main cause of pink eyes without pus. Most often, it is part of a cold.
  • Bacterial conjunctivitis. Pinkeye plus the eyelids are stuck together with pus.  Most likely, this is a secondary infection of a viral conjunctivitis. 
  • Allergic conjunctivitis from pollens. Most children with eye allergies also have nasal allergies (hay fever). Symptoms include sneezing and clear nasal discharge.
  • Irritant conjunctivitis from sunscreen, soap, chlorine in pool water, smoke, or smog. Irritants can also be transferred by touching the eye with dirty fingers. Irritants can be food or plant resins.
  • Foreign body (FB). If only one side has pinkeye, a FB in the eye must be considered.
  • Serious Cause. A bacterial infection of the eyelids and skin around them. Causes the lids to be very red and swollen.

Return to School

  • Pinkeye with a watery discharge is harmless. There is a slight risk it could be passed to others. Children with pinkeye from a cold do not need to miss any school.

Disclaimer

The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

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  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
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