Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Eye Infection with Pus (for Teenagers)
- yellow discharge in the eye
- eyelids stuck together with pus, especially after
- dried eye discharge on the upper cheek
- white part of eyes may or may not have some redness or
- eyelids are usually puffy due to irritation from the
This condition is also called bacterial conjunctivitis,
runny eyes, or mattery eyes.
Note: A small amount of cream-colored mucus in the inner
corner of the eyes after sleeping is normal.
Eye infections with pus are caused by bacteria and can be a
complication of a cold. Pink eyes without a yellow discharge,
however, are more common and are due to a virus.
With proper treatment the yellow discharge should clear up in
72 hours. The red eyes (which are due to the cold) may
persist for several more days.
- Cleaning the eye
Before putting in any medicines, remove all the pus from
your eye with warm water and wet cotton balls. Unless
this is done, the medicine will not have a chance to
- Antibiotic eyedrops or ointments
Bacterial conjunctivitis must be treated with an
antibiotic eye medicine prescribed by your physician.
If your physician has prescribed antibiotic eyedrops, put
two drops in each eye every 2 hours while you are awake.
Do this by gently pulling down on your lower lid and
placing the drops there. As soon as the eyedrops have
been put in the eyes, close them for 2 minutes so the
eyedrops will stay inside. Continue the eyedrops until
you have awakened two mornings in a row without any pus
in your eyes.
If your physician has prescribed antibiotic eye ointment,
the ointment needs to be used just four times a day
because it can remain in the eyes longer than eyedrops.
Separate your eyelids and put in a ribbon of ointment
along the lower eyelid from one corner of the eye to the
other. Continue until two mornings have passed without
any pus in your eye.
The pus from the eyes can cause eye infections in other
people if they get some of it on their eyes. Therefore,
it is very important for you to use your own washcloth
and towel. Try not to touch or rub your eyes because it
can make your infection last longer. Touching your eyes
also puts a lot of germs on your fingers. Rinse your
hands often throughout the day to prevent spreading the
CALL YOUR PHYSICIAN IMMEDIATELY IF:
- Your outer eyelids become very red or swollen.
CALL YOUR PHYSICIAN WITHIN 24 HOURS IF:
- The infection isn't cleared up after 3 days on treatment.
- You develop an earache.
- You have other concerns or questions.