Are you experiencing a painful, red bump on your eyelid? It could be an eye stye. Eye styes are a common and generally harmless condition, but it’s important to know how to manage them effectively and find the appropriate eye stye treatments for you.
What is an Eye Stye?
Eye styes form on the inside or outside of the eyelid and are caused by a bacterial infection, most commonly staphylococcus bacteria. The bacteria infects an oil gland or hair follicle on the eyelid, leading to inflammation, redness and the formation of a pus-filled bump.
There are two main types of eye styes:
External stye: This forms on the outside of the eyelid, usually at the base of an eyelash. It resembles a small pimple and is the most common type of stye.
Internal stye: This develops on the inside of the eyelid, usually within an oil gland. It can be more painful than an external stye and may take longer to heal.
Symptoms of an Eye Stye
Eye styes are usually easy to recognize due to their distinct appearance and accompanying symptoms. Common signs include:
- A red, swollen bump on the eyelid
- Tenderness or pain in the affected area
- Sensitivity to light
- Excessive tearing or watering of the eye
- A gritty sensation when blinking
Eye Stye Treatment
Some styes will resolve with home intervention, but some will require medical intervention. If you are experiencing repetitive styes, there may be an underlying cause your eye doctor can help diagnose.
However, there are some steps you can take to help speed up the healing process and alleviate discomfort:
Apply Warm Compresses
Soak a clean cloth in warm water, wring it out, and gently apply it to the affected eyelid for 10–15 minutes, 3–4 times a day. The warmth of the compress can help soften the oil gland or hair follicle, allowing the stye to drain and heal more quickly.
Maintain Good Eyelid Hygiene
Keep the affected area clean by gently washing the eyelid with a doctor-approved lid cleanser. Avoid using makeup or wearing contact lenses until the stye has healed completely, as these can introduce additional bacteria and slow down the healing process.
Avoid Squeezing or Popping the Stye
We know that it’s hard, but you need to resist the urge to squeeze or pop the stye, as this can cause the infection to spread or worsen the inflammation.
Over-the-Counter Pain Relief
To ease pain and discomfort, consider using over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, following the recommended dosage instructions.
Seek Medical Attention if Needed
If the stye doesn’t improve after a couple of days, becomes more painful or affects your vision, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe an oral antibiotic, heated treatments to heal the stye more quickly, or recommend a minor procedure to drain the stye.
To reduce your risk of developing a stye, follow these basic hygiene tips:
- Wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your eyes with dirty hands.
- Remove eye makeup thoroughly before going to bed.
- Clean and replace makeup applicators and brushes regularly.
- Replace old or expired eye makeup products.
Maintain Your Eye Health with Comprehensive Care
Remember that maintaining good eye hygiene is essential to preventing eye styes and promoting overall eye health. An important part of eye care is regular trips to the eye doctor.
If you have concerns about your eye health or are experiencing ongoing issues, contact Complete Eye Care of Medina today for a consultation.