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Eye burning - itching and discharge
Alternative namesItching - burning eyes; Burning eyes
DefinitionEye burning with disharge is a symptom describing burning, itching, or drainage from the eye of any substance other than tears.
ConsiderationsSometimes burning and itching eyes are due to environmental pollutants that might be eliminated by social action. If secondhand cigarette smoke is annoying, say so. If an industrial plant in the area is polluting, contact the EPA for solutions.
Apply cool compresses to soothe itching.
If the eyelids have crusts, gently soften them with warm compresses. Gently washing the eyelids with baby shampoo on a cotton applicator can help remove crusts.
Artificial tears used several times a day (4-6 times) can also relieve symptoms. Avoid over-the-counter eyedrops other than artificial tears because they will eventually make symptoms worse.
Itching and burning due to allergy or chemicals can be very uncomfortable. Attempt to determine the cause of the allergy such as a pet, seasonal pollen, or irritating cosmetics. Refrigerated artificial tears can be very soothing. Antihistamine drops, available from your health care provider, can be helpful.
Pink eye or viral conjunctivitis causes a red or bloodshot eye and excessive tearing. If you suspect pink eye, remember to wash your hands often, and avoid touching the unaffected eye. The infection will run its course in about 10 days.
Bacterial conjunctivitis is not common, but if you have eye discharge that is white, yellow or greenish, contact your health care provider.
Call your health care provider if
The medical history will be obtained, and a physical examination performed.
Medical history questions documenting your symptom in detail may include:
Antihistamines in the form of eye-drops or ointments may be prescribed. Cortisone-like eye ointments are not often prescribed. These medications will reduce many types of inflammation, but certain infections such as herpes can be made worse.
After seeing your health care provider:
If symptoms do not improve or are worse in one to two weeks, contact your health care professional. Occasionally, additional treatments are needed.
Update Date: 1/19/2004Raymond S. Douglas, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Ophthalmology, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT