Eye stye treatment

An eye stye looks sort of like a pimple on the edge of the eyelid. It is simply an infection of an eyelash that occurs on the eyelid, and leads to a blockage of the hair follicles; the result is a swollen area and an unpleasant stye. This type of infection is caused by the staphylococcus bacteria because they can infect the tiny glands at the base of the eyelid hairs and they, in turn, become inflamed. The infection can be transferred from one area of the eye to the next if you continuously itch for relief (if you do itch, wash your hands!). A stye is rather mild on the list of infections; it is more of a nuisance than anything. Pain in the eye or on the eyelid, discomfort when blinking, swelling of the eyelid, sensitivity to light, redness or tearing of the eyelid, and blurred vision (rarely) are all symptoms of an eye stye. Usually, the stye develops within 3-7 days, fills with pus in the process, and will burst spontaneously and drain itself. See a doctor if the stye does not go away after a week. While a stye usually goes away on its own, treatment involves easing the pain and speeding along the healing process. There are both home remedies and more medical-like treatments for an eye stye.

Home Remedies

  • Keep the area thoroughly cleansed.
  • Apply a warm compress on the infected area for several minutes 3-6 times daily.
  • Let it open on its own; do not squeeze or pop a stye.
  • Don’t wear eye make-up, lotions, or contact lenses until the stye heals.
  • Wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your eyes (you should do this all the time).
  • Some people say that the following herb mixtures help ease the symptoms of sties and make the healing process speed up:
    • Rub clove spice in water and apply it gently to the stye.
    • Put an aloe leaf lengthwise over the stye, using the pulpy side.
    • Dissolve 2-3 granules of alum in a cup of water; use it as an eye wash.
    • Put 2-3 guava leaves on a warm compress and place over the stye.
    • Boil a handful of acacia leaves in two cups of water; use as an eye wash.
    • Boil 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of coriander; use as an eye wash.
    • Wet a tea bag and place it over the stye for 8-10 minutes; do this 3-4 times a day.

Other Treatments

  • Try an over-the-counter ointment, solution, or medicated pad. Many of these just relieve the redness, pain, swelling, and tearing, but are not able to get rid of the infection itself.
  • If no other treatments work, ask your doctor for a prescription antibiotic eye ointment to treat a stye, or eyedrops. Antibiotic pills may be necessary if the infection has spread to the eyelid or the eye.
  • Surgery is certainly on the bottom of the list of treatments; physicians may use it as a last resort. If the stye does not respond to any other type of treatment, surgery may be necessary. The surgery will be performed by an ophthalmologist in the office. The patient usually gets local anesthesia.

Be Careful
Sties are contagious. They can easily spread from one family member to the next; however, it doesn’t stop there. Friends can get the bacteria from you too. Always wash your hands, even if you haven’t touched your eye, and steer clear from being too close to anyone because you wouldn’t want to spread the infection.

Last updated on Jan 2nd, 2011 and filed under Vision Care. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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