What is an eye stye?
A stye looks like a pimple or boil that appears around the eyelids (but it is not actually a pimple). There may be redness and itchiness and pain or swelling in the eyelids. Styes are usually caused by clogged oil glands (near the base of the eyelashes) and are caused by staphylococcus bacteria. They look similar to pimples, but should not be squeezed or pierced as the bacteria inside can spread over the entire eyelid spreading infection.
Do not touch the stye. Touching can cause irritation which could worsen the condition.
Wash the face at least once a day and wash the area with antibacterial soap to make sure that the bacteria does not spread.
Soften the stye by applying a hot, moist compress several times a day for at least 10 minutes at a time. Wash your hands after treatment of any type to avoid spreading the infection
- Go to the doctor. You will be prescribed with oral antibiotics or antibiotic ointments for external sties. Antibiotics will work against the bacteria and will speed up the recovery. Normally, people with sties don’t go to the doctor right away. You can give it a couple days to heal.
- As a last resort, sties are sometimes operated on or a medical term called lancing where the pus is drained out. Do not try this at home!
Whenever you are treating a stye
, be very careful and resist the urge to pop or squeeze it! Do not rub your eyes because you can easily spread the infection to your other eye – that is unless you want a matching set… 🙂 If your stye does not go away within a week see your doctor about getting antibiotics.
Some common eye-stye treatments and tips
- The tannic acid in tea is reported to help cure styes – take a used tea bag that is still warm and apply it to the eye as a warm compress.
- An old folk remedy recommends rinsing the eye with milk. If it works for you, let us know!
- Refrain from wearing eye makeup while the stye is active.
- Do not rub your eyes or you risk irritating and spreading the infection.
- There are many over-the-counter stye remedies you can try – see your local pharmacist.
- Whatever you choose to do – be very careful when putting unknown chemicals on or in your eyes – if you’re unfamiliar with a remedy then consult your doctor first.
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