Eye burning - itching and discharge

Definition

Eye burning with discharge is burning, itching, or drainage from the eye of any substance other than tears.

Causes

Home Care

Apply cool compresses to soothe itching.

Apply warm compress to soften crusts if they have formed. Washing the eyelids with baby shampoo on a cotton applicator can also help remove crusts.

Using artificial tears 4 - 6 times a day can be helpful for almost all causes of burning and irritation, especially dry eyes.

If you have allergies, try to avoid the cause (pets, grasses, cosmetics) as much as possible. Your health care provider may give you antihistamine eye drops to help with allergies.

Pink eye or viral conjunctivitis causes a red or bloodshot eye and excessive tearing. It may be highly contagious for the first few days. The infection will run its course in about 10 days. If you suspect pink eye:

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Contact your health care provider if:

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

Your health care provider will get a medical history and will perform a physical exam.

Questions you may be asked include:

The physical examination may include a check of your:

Depending on the cause of the problem, your health care provider may recommend treatments such as:

Follow your health care provider’s instructions exactly. With treatment, you should gradually improve. You should be back to normal in 1 to 2 weeks unless the problem is a chronic one like dry eyes.


Review Date: 11/12/2013
Reviewed By: Franklin W. Lusby, MD, Ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

This information should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. © 1997- 2007 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.