- Yellow or green discharge (pus) in the eye
- The eyelids are stuck (matted) together with pus after sleep
- After being wiped away, the pus comes back during the day
- Often caused by a bacterial eye infection
Causes of Eye with Pus
- Bacterial Conjunctivitis. This is a bacterial infection of the eye. The main symptom is eyelids stuck together with pus after sleep. Can be present in 1 or both eyes. A few viruses can cause pus in the eyes, but most don't.
- Viral Conjunctivitis. This is a viral infection of the eyes. Main symptom is pinkness of the white parts of the eyes. The eyes are also watery. Most often, there is no pus. Usually on both sides.
- Normal Discharge. A small amount of dried mucus only in the corner of the eye. It may not even be pus. A collection of mucus can be cream colored. Often due to an irritant that got in the eye from dirty hands. Needs no treatment except wiping it away with warm water.
- Blocked Tear Duct. Present in 10% of newborns. Main symptom is a constant watery eye. Tears fill the eye and run down the face. This happens even when not crying. The eye is not red and the eyelid is not swollen. The wet eye may get secondary infections. This will cause the eyelids to become matted with pus.
- Foreign Object in Eye (Serious). Small particles such as sand, dirt or sawdust can be blown into the eyes. The grit often gets stuck under the upper eyelid. If not removed, the eye reacts by producing pus. The main clue is an eye infection that does not respond to antibiotic eyedrops. Older children complain of feeling something in the eye.
- Eyelid Cellulitis (Serious). This is a deep infection of the eyelid and tissues around it. The main symptom is a red, swollen, very tender eyelid. The eye can be swollen shut. Usually only on one side. This can be a problem caused by bacterial conjunctivitis. The eye infection spreads inward. More commonly this is caused by an ethmoid sinus infection. That type occurs without any pus in the eye.
Symptoms of Bacterial Eye Infection
- Yellow or green discharge or pus in the eye
- Dried pus on the eyelids and eyelashes
- The eyelashes are more likely to be stuck together after sleep
- The whites of the eye may or may not be red or pink
- The eyelids are often puffy