Styes are the result of a bacterial infection. They are painful red bumps that typically appear in or on your eyelid. They are small bumps, but styes cause significant amounts of discomfort and pain. With a little home treatment, most styes last only several days. However, if you notice that your stye isn’t going away, you should see an optometrist or an eye doctor.
Some of the symptoms that indicate the bump on or inside your eyelid is a stye include the following:
- Your affected eyelid is swollen
- It feels as if there is something stuck in your eye
- You may notice some crusty discharge along your eyelid
- Observe the bump for pus in the center
- Your eye feels like it’s burning
- Light sensitivity
- Your affected eye is constantly tearing
Underneath your eyelashes, there are oil glands. When those oil glands are blocked by bacteria, a stye may form. Bacteria can come from different places, but the most common sources are your hands and dirty contact lenses. Styes can also be the result of going to bed while still wearing makeup, which becomes food for bacteria. Using expired products on your face can also introduce bacteria to your eyes.
Chronic eye inflammation caused by blepharitis or rosacea can also make you more susceptible to styes.
A clean washcloth soaked in warm water can serve as an excellent warm compress for the affected eye. A warm compress can help your stye drain and heal if you apply it a few times a day. Make sure the water is not hot, and that you wring out the washcloth. Do not let others use the washcloth. Styes are bacterial infections that are contagious.
Don’t wear makeup until the stye is healed. Throw out all the eye makeup you use, as it’s highly likely that it’s contaminated with bacteria.
To wash your eyes, use a diluted baby shampoo that does not contain eye irritants. Wash your hands frequently.
Take over-the-counter pain relievers for the discomfort.
If your stye does not go away after a few days of home treatment, see your doctor for an eye exam. Your optometrist may recommend antibiotics in pills, drops, or creams. They may also have to perform a minor surgical procedure to drain your stye.
Whatever you do, do not keep touching the stye and never try to squeeze or pop it. Don’t use a hot compress. Never wear makeup while you still have a stye. If possible, wear glasses instead of contact lenses in the meantime.
Get in touch with Eyes on Norbeck if your stye persists. We can also help if you need eyeglasses. Call us today at (301) 238-7199 or schedule an appointment here. We welcome patients from Potomac, MD.