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Say Bye To Your Stye in 5 Simple Steps

Posted on June 14th, 2016

Has your eyelid ever become painful, red, and swollen with something that looks like a bug bite or a pimple? Chances are you’ve had a stye, or in vision care terms, a hordeolum.


A stye is a blocked gland on the edge of your eyelid most often caused by staphylococcal bacteria. They can also appear deeper in the eyelid (internal hordeolum). This bacterium can be found in the nose and transferred easily to the eye when you rub your nose, then your eye. Staph bacteria can also reside on the skin, and can be highly contagious. While a stye can be an indication of a more serious condition, it can usually be treated without any issues. In fact, most people have this bacterium on them and can develop a stye at any time, or even multiple times throughout their lives. 


While your best bet is to see an optometrist as soon as possible (particularly if the stye becomes painful or impacts your vision), here are five simple steps you can take to treat a stye:


1. Keep it Clean: Be sure to keep your eyes and hands clean at all times. You can also avoid spreading the bacteria by not sharing items like pillowcases, bed sheets, washcloths or towels. 


2. Apply a Warm Compress: You can encourage healing by applying a warm compress, like a clean washcloth, to the area for 10- 15 minutes, 3-4 times a day.


3. Use an Antibiotic Ointment: A good follow-up treatment to the compress is the application of an antibiotic ointment, which can be prescribed by your optometrist.


4. Don't Pop It: The combination of the compress and ointment will likely bring the stye to a head, much like a whitehead, but you shouldn't attempt to pop a stye. Instead allow the stye to rupture on its own.


5. Let it Heal: Continue applying the antibiotic ointment until all symptoms have cleared.


If you’re concerned you have a stye that requires special treatment please visit an FYidoctors location near you.