What causes white discharge from the eyes?

The white discharge from the eyes can indicate a number of underlying health issues. Irritation of the eye in general often triggers evident tearing along with mild discharge. These are considered as normal findings. In case the discharge is excessive or accompanied by other symptoms such as eye pain or blurry vision, an eye examination performed by a doctor is required to prevent any permanent visual issues.

Eye issues linked with white discharge

The white discharge from the eye can indicate the presence of an eye infection. The color of the discharge is considered factors that can help the doctor determine the type of infection present.

A bacterial infection is evident with green, thick discharge while a white appearance can indicate a viral infection. This is not a definitive rule since there are variations possible between individuals and the multitude of infectious processes.

The ocular allergies are typically linked with watery eyes and a string-like discharge that might be clear or white in color. Remember that the eye naturally waters markedly with distress or irritation while the white discharge can be generated as a response.


The ocular allergies are typically linked with watery eyes and a string-like discharge that might be clear or white in color.

Diagnosis and management

A thorough eye examination is performed to determine the underlying cause of the white discharge from the eye. In case a foreign body is present in the eye, using a prescribed eye wash is the initial step to take. The materials that might be embedded in the ocular surface require removal by a healthcare professional.

A number of factors can trigger eye inflammation that leads to discharge. Eye drops that provide a lubrication effect that does not contain any preservatives can help minimize the symptoms while anti-inflammatory eye drops prescribed by the doctor are used in severe cases.

Dry eye syndrome and ocular allergies typically result to inflammation of the eye. The symptoms can be managed by observing changes in the environment such as avoidance of allergens and dusty areas. The doctor can determine if an eye infection is present and prescribe the suitable medication. Those who use contact lens must remove the lenses if unusual symptoms of discharge are present.

Other considerations to bear in mind

It is also best to consider other accompanying factors that are present with the white discharge from the eye. Possible underlying causes include cold symptoms and sinus congestion that should be addressed with as soon as possible.

In case the individual was exposed to others who have current eye infections, a transmittable onset might be indicated. An individual who sleeps using contact lenses often results to inflammation that can put the eye at risk for a bacterial infection known as microbial keratitis that can put the eyesight at risk.

Take note that ocular itchiness is an indication that allergies are involved. The environmental allergy factors must be carefully assessed if itchiness and white discharge are present. A doctor should be consulted so that proper treatment can be started.


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