Yellow Eye Discharge: What You Need to Know

Harman Kaur
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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eye stye

Sight is a complex process, and no one would like to get obstruction by it. 

If any infection gets into the eyes, our body tries to fight it. 

Pus, mucus, or other discharge types can release from your eyes in the form of an infection. 

When your eye starts discharging yellow mucus, it reflects a sign of an infection. The discharge occurs in dead viruses or bacteria, white blood cells, and tears.

It can affect people ranging from demographic, age, or socioeconomic status.

Over 80% of acute cases are often diagnosed by non-ophthalmologists, such as internists, primary care physicians, pediatricians, and nurse practitioners.

These are when you need to visit your doctor for a check-up. 

Yellow discharge from eyes

Yellow discharge takes place due to bacterial infection.

It can accompany obstruction of the tear duct, meibomian gland dysfunction, blepharitis, a stye, or bacterial conjunctivitis.

After consulting your doctor, you can use eye drops like Besix Eye Drop, and Toba Eye Drops to treat conjunctivitis. 

The tear ducts produce more tears when the eye feels dry, scraped, or as if something is in it.

It could signify dacryocystitis if you find yellow or white mucus balls. It is an infection of the tear drainage system or tear duct. 

When an eye is infected, the conjunctiva, the translucent covering of the eye, gets irritated. 

The white blood cells in the body help in fighting eye infections

As the bacteria are killed by the white blood cells, pus is formed. This pus comes from the eyes in the form of dead cells, tears, and dead bacteria.

This discharge can take place anytime, whether you are awake or sleeping. If you are awake, you can see it towards the corner of your eye or eyelash when you blink.

Although if you sleep and then wake up, you typically have dry discharge on your eyelashes and corners of your eyes. 

If this occurs, you may be unable to open your eyes because the crusty discharge prevents the eyelashes from separating.

Some of the causes which can lead to eye irritation are: 

  • Chemicals that are present in your eyes
  • If you wear contact lenses for long
  • Fungi that get into your eye
  • Irritation in your eyes because of any particle
  • Parasites and amoebas
home remedies for eye infectionSource: ocskaymark_from_Getty_Images
eyelid infection

Other symptoms of this discharge may include eye redness, drainage from puncta (tear duct opening), and facial pain. This condition can lead to severe issues if not tackled with time. 

Crusty debris or flakes near the base of the eyelashes may be a sign of blepharitis. It is an inflammation caused by excess oil, germs around the eyelids, or meibomian gland malfunction.

Yellow mucus could indicate a stye, a painful red bump that develops on or under the eyelid when eyelash follicles or oil glands become clogged and inflamed.

The yellow patch in the center of a stye, which occasionally resembles a pimple, may contain yellow pus; however, you should not attempt to pop it! Most styes resolve independently, but popping them can spread the illness.


Consult an eye doctor if your ocular discharge’s color, frequency, consistency, or quantity changes.

If an eye infection is the source of eye mucus, your eye doctor may prescribe antibiotics or antiviral eye drops and ointments.

Eye treatments containing over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines help reduce ocular allergy symptoms, including tearing and irritation.

Warm compresses applied to the eyes can ease sensations of itching and general discomfort, facilitating clear eye discharge.

The quickest approach to “peel” jabbed eyelids is to place a washcloth soaked in hot water over your eyes for a few minutes before gently wiping away the discharge.


If you follow the tips mentioned below, you can prevent eye infections. 

  • Try not sharing face washers, towels, or make-up with anyone else to avoid infections
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before touching your eyes.
  • Try to dry your face washers, towels, and bed linen under sunlight after washing
  • Clean your eye discharge gently, and try cleaning it outwards from the corner of your eye. 
  • Use a new cotton wool pad while cleaning your eye; it prevents any infection from passing from one eye to another
  • If you are caught with an infection, try not using a lens for at least a week

Baby eye infection yellow discharge

Eye discharge in infants is a common issue. This is often treatable at home, but if there is a yellow eye discharge, it will require medical attention.

Discharge accompanied by additional symptoms in the eye region, such as swelling or pain, may indicate an infection or another eye condition.

A parent or carer of a newborn exhibiting these symptoms must visit a physician.

20% of newborns have sliced tear ducts, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which is the most common cause.

This condition exists as the end of the tear duct doesn’t open properly when a baby is born. 

Causes of eye discharge in infants

Numerous causes can be listed for yellow discharge among babies. 

They could be due to viral or bacterial conjunctivitis or any foreign object obstruction, and so on. 

Viral conjunctivitis

yellow eye dischargeSource: Antonio_Diaz_from_Getty_Images
red eye

It can be a viral infection in the eyes. The primary symptom is pinkness in the white area of the eye. The eyes become watery, although there is no pus formed.

Bacterial conjunctivitis

The main symptom of this case is sticking eyelids together because of pus formation. It can happen in either one or both eyes.

Foreign objects in the eye

Small particles like sand or dust blown into the eyes could lead to severe infections. The grit is usually stuck in the upper eyelid. If not removed with time, it creates pus.

Eyelid cellulitis

This is a severe infection of the eyelid and surrounding tissues. The primary symptom is a red, swollen, and extremely painful eyelid.

Typically, only one eye can be completely swelled shut. This may be the result of bacterial conjunctivitis. The inflammation of the eye spreads inward.


We saw the different causes of yellow discharge from the eyes. It can happen with both adults and infants.

It is a condition that can be treated with time and should not be ignored. 

The eye’s tear duct blockage is a common issue in newborns. It eventually clears up within four to six months since the children are born. 

However, the parents should consult a doctor. It would help diagnose the condition’s cause and work on the same.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my eye discharge yellow?

Yellow or green discharge usually is an indication of a bacterial infection in your eye. A doctor should check for a bacterial infection and may require prescription medication or eye drops. White discharge is likely not an infection.

Why does my baby have yellow eye discharge?

If your infant has a sticky eye, their eye or their eyes will produce copious amounts of tears. They may be shedding tears down their cheeks. Occasionally, swelling and a wet yellow or green discharge may occur. Eye discharge is not an infection and should not be painful for your child.

Can allergies cause yellow eye discharge?

Yellow discharge from the eyes is a clear indication of eye infection. If this infection is due to allergies, it won’t stay long. But if bacteria cause it, you must consult your doctor to avoid severe damage.

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