See More Appropriate Topic (instead of this one):
Eye - Pus or Drainage
- Yellow or green discharge from a bacterial eye infection
- Bacterial infection of the eye, usually on top of a cold in the eye
- A small amount of pus (or mucus) that's only present in the corner of the eye is unimportant and usually due to an irritant or virus
- Yellow or green discharge or pus in the eye
- Dried pus on the eyelids and eyelashes
- The eyelashes are especially likely to be stuck (matted) together following sleep
- The whites of the eye may or may not have some redness or pinkness
- The eyelids are usually puffy due to irritation from the infection
Return to School
- Your child can return to day care or school after using antibiotic eyedrops for 24 hours, if the pus is minimal
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When to Call for Eye - Pus or Drainage
Call Us Now (night or day) If
- Your child looks or acts very sick
- Eyelid is very red or very swollen
- Blurred vision reported
- Eye pain and more than mild
- Cloudy spot on the cornea (clear part of the eye)
- Fever over 104° F (40° C) and not improved 2 hours after fever medicine
- Age under 12 weeks with fever above 100.4° F (38.0° C) rectally (Caution: Do NOT give your baby any fever medicine before being seen.)
Call Us Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If
- Yellow/green discharge or pus in the eye, but none of the symptoms described above(Reason: probably needs prescription antibiotic eyedrops to treat it)
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HOME CARE ADVICE FOR PUS IN THE EYE (Pending Talking with Your Doctor)
- Reassurance: Bacterial eye infections are a common complication of a cold. They respond to home treatment with antibiotic eyedrops and are not harmful to vision. Call our office for an appointment if you suspect your child may have a bacterial eye infection.
- Remove Pus:
- Remove the dried and liquid pus from the eyelids with warm water and wet cotton balls.
- Do this whenever pus is seen on the eyelids.
- Once you have antibiotic eyedrops, they will not work unless the pus is removed each time before they are put in.
- Contact Lenses: Children with contact lenses need to switch to glasses temporarily (Reason: to prevent damage to the cornea). Disinfect the contacts before wearing them again (or discard them if disposable).
- Contagiousness: Your child can return to day care or school after using antibiotic eyedrops for 24 hours, if the pus is minimal. The antibiotic eyedrops can be used for other family members who develop the same symptoms.
- Expected Course: With treatment, the yellow discharge should clear up in 3 days. The red eyes (which are part of the underlying cold) may persist for up to a week.
- Call Us If:
- Eyelid becomes red or swollen
- Your child becomes worse
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And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "When to Call Us" symptoms.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 3/15/2008
Last Revised: 6/16/2008