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Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Eye and Vision Care
White discharge from the eye
Today I`ve noticed a white (not crusted) discharge from my 6 yr old`s eye. No burning sensation from what he says. No pain either. One eye is fine, the other has this white discharge. No redness in the eye at all. The eye looks really clear, other than this occassional white discharge.
Thank you for your interesting question.
If this condition were an allergic reaction (we are in a high allergy season) it would be likely to occur in both eyes. You may wish to ask your child whether that eye itches or burns. Also note whether he rubs this eye.
There are several high potential leading causes:
- a low grade infection of the outside of the eye and/or lid
- uncorrected astigmatism, farsightedness, or nearsightedness that is causing eyestrain and eye rubbing, leading to a low grade infection in that eye from the hand
- an infection in the tear duct and or related structures of the tear drainage system.
Should the condition persist for another 3 days or so, I strongly recommend that you see an eye doctor to rule out more serious conditions. On the short term, use of warm compresses a couple times a day may help to resolve this discharge.
Once again, thank you for your question.
Paulette P Schmidt, OD, MS
Professor Emeritus of Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University