What is a Stye?
A stye or sty (hordeolum) is a red bump, sort of like a pimple, that forms on the outside edge of the eyelid. Your eyelids have lots of tiny oil glands, especially around the eyelashes. Dead skin, dirt, or oil buildup can clog or block these small holes. When a gland is blocked, bacteria can grow inside and cause a stye to develop.
Symptoms of a stye include:
- pain and swelling
- increased tear production
- a crust that forms around the eyelid
- soreness and itchiness
If your stye isn’t painful, it may be a chalazion. Treatments for chalazions and styes are similar, but a chalazion may take longer to heal.
Ways to speed up the healing process for styes:
1. Use a warm compress/washcloth
A warm compress is the most effective way to treat a stye. The warmth helps dissolve the pus and oil so the stye can drain naturally.
Wet a clean washcloth with warm water. Make sure the water is not too hot. Wring the cloth so it’s damp but not dripping. Then gently place it over your eye for about 5 to 10 minutes. Do not squeeze or try to puncture the stye.
You can do this 3 to 4 times each day.
2. Clean your eyelid with mild soap and water
Choose a tear-free baby shampoo and mix it with a bit of warm water. Use it to gently wipe off your eyelids using a cotton swab or clean washcloth. You can do this every day until the stye is gone. Cleaning your eyelids also helps prevent future styes.
Another option is to use a saline solution. It can help promote drainage and break down bacterial membranes.
3. Avoid using makeup and wearing contact lenses
Avoid using makeup if you have a stye. Makeup can irritate the eye even more and delay the healing process. You can also transfer bacteria to your makeup and tools and spread the infection to your other eye.
Wash your reusable brushes regularly. Throw out any eye products that are over three months old.
If you wear contact lenses, stick with glasses until your stye heals. Bacteria from the stye can get onto the contacts and spread the infection.
4. Get medical treatment from your doctor
If you stye persists or continuously worsens your doctor may need to prescribe an antibiotic cream for infections. For inflammation, your doctor may give you a steroid shot to reduce swelling. Sometimes styes need to be professionally drained, especially if they are internal or affect your vision.
* Information provided from http://www.healthline.com