Yellow, green, bloody, or
watery discharge from the eye.
Increasing redness of the eye or
A gray or white sore on the colored part of the eye (iris).
Fever with no other cause.
Blurred or decreased vision.
Your eyes may often water or tear. You may notice a small amount of
white or creamy drainage at times. If you have no pain or other symptoms, home
treatment is usually all that is needed. More serious infections affect the
entire eye area (periorbital cellulitis) or the lacrimal sacs (dacryocystitis). Any signs of infection along with a
change in your vision or other symptoms need to be evaluated by a doctor.
Infection can develop in the eye from irritation, such as getting a
small amount of a chemical in the eye. Infection can also occur after a minor
eye injury or a small scratch on the cornea. If untreated, some types of eye
infections can damage the eye very quickly.
Infections can be more severe in people who wear contact lenses. If
you think you may have an eye infection, remove your contacts and wear your
Herpes zoster ophthalmicus (shingles) affects the nerves of the eye and can
cause symptoms, such as swelling, pain, and drainage, similar to an eye
If the eye has been injured—scratched, cut, punctured, or burned—a
tetanus shot is recommended.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.