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Understanding Green Eye Discharge: Causes and Treatments

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Written by- Gina Walters

Green eye discharge or mucus in one or both eyes could indicate a bacterial infection.

A small amount of green discharge from the eyes is normal and typically not a cause of concern.

However, persistent green eye discharge may indicate underlying conditions such as corneal ulcers.

Understanding green eye discharge is essential to understand medical conditions and treatments.

This article aims to explain the reasons behind green eye discharge and offer various treatment options for the same.

What is green eye discharge

Green discharge from the eyes can be a symptom of underlying conditions, often pointing towards an infection or inflammation.

A small amount of eye discharge is normal for lubrication; green discharge usually indicates a bacterial infection.

Bacterial infections, such as pink eyes or Bacterial Keratitis, can change the color of the discharge. 

Green eye discharge is usually accompanied by symptoms such as red eyes, itching, and discomfort. 

For persistent green eye discharge, it is critical to seek medical assistance for early diagnosis and treatment. 

If left untreated, Keratitis can cause considerable damage to the cornea, potentially leading to corneal ulcers.

What causes green eye discharge

The primary cause of green eye discharge is bacterial eye infections.

Bacterial pink eyes, cold, stye, and Keratitis are some causes of green eye discharge.  

Let’s discuss these causes in detail for better understanding:

Bacterial pink eyes

pink eyeSource: pixelshots
Bacterial pink eye

The most common cause of eye discharge is Conjunctivitis (pink eye). 

It is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the eye’s outer membrane.

Among all types of pink eyes, bacterial pink eyes can cause yellowish-green or green eye discharge.

It is essential to consult a doctor for proper treatment of bacterial pink to avoid potential risk.

Curious about bacterial pink eye? Read Bacterial Pink Eye: A Guide to Symptoms, Prevention and Treatment to understand and manage the condition. 

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Stye is a painful red bump caused by bacteria such as Staphylococcus Aureus. 

If the eye infection becomes serious, it can cause greenish-yellow discharge from the eyes.

If symptoms persist or worsen, it is essential to consult a doctor for proper evaluation and potential treatment.


Keratitis is an infection of the cornea, the clear front surface of the eyes.

In severe situations, Bacterial Keratitis can cause green eye discharge as a symptom.

Keratitis can also lead to other symptoms, such as redness, itching, or blurred vision.

Common cold 

common coldSource: Science_Photo_Library
Picture of man sneezing

Physical touch can sometimes allow a common cold infection to enter and infect the eyes.

When such infections become serious, they can cause symptoms such as green eye discharge.

These conditions are particularly common in youngsters, who are more prone to poor hand hygiene practices.

Green eye discharge treatment

Green eye discharge treatments depend on the underlying cause of the condition. 

Hence, addressing the underlying conditions is crucial for obtaining relief from green eye discharge.

If a bacterial infection occurs, antibiotic eye drops such as Amoxicillin can be used to treat it.

Similarly, if bacterial keratitis is the cause of your green eye discharge, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.

In cases of viral infections, antiviral medications can be considered for treating it.

To prevent complications, maintain good hygiene by washing hands and avoiding eye rubbing. 

For proper treatment and relief, seek medical attention for persistent or severe green eye discharge.

If you wear contact lenses and notice green eye discharge, stop using your contact lenses and consult an eye care specialist for advice on safe procedures.

Summing up

Green eye discharge can cause discomfort and often signals a bacterial eye infection. 

Several causes, such as bacterial pink eyes, stye, Keratitis, and the common cold, can lead to green eye discharge. 

Treating these underlying issues to treat green discharge from the eyes is critical.

Doctors often prescribe antiviral and antibiotic medications to treat green eye discharge. 

In addition to medications, it’s crucial to maintain proper hygiene and avoid touching the eyes.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my eye discharge green?

Green eye discharge may indicate infection or inflammation, often caused by bacteria. 
If it is persistent, seek medical attention to identify the underlying issue and receive appropriate treatment.

Can a sinus infection cause green discharge from the eyes?

Yes, a sinus infection can lead to green discharge from the eyes. 
The infection can cause mucus to accumulate in the sinuses, leading to eye drainage that may appear green due to the presence of bacteria.

Is green eye discharge contagious?

Green eye discharge can be contagious if caused by a bacterial or viral infection. 
Direct contact with the discharge or contaminated surfaces may transmit the infectious agents. 
Maintaining proper hygiene is essential to prevent the spread of the infection.

Can a cold cause green eye discharge?

Yes, a cold can cause green eye discharge. Viral infections associated with colds can lead to increased mucus production, affecting the eyes and causing the discharge to appear green.

Does green eye discharge from the eye mean pink eye?

Yes, green discharge from the eye might indicate pink eye. 
It is important to remember that other eye disorders, such as Keratitis or Stye, could also cause it.
As a result, it is advisable not to self-diagnose and instead see an ophthalmologist about your green eye discharge.

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