A stye is a common and often painful infection of the eyelid caused by the clogging of an oil gland. The bump develops along the edge of the eyelid, often close to the eyelashes. In some cases, styes may cause swelling and redness around the affected area, and may cause discomfort and pain when blinking.
How to Get Rid of a Stye
If left untreated or unattended to, styes can sometimes cause more serious infections or even vision problems. However, there are steps you can take to get rid of a stye and prevent it from coming up again in the future:
1. Warm compresses
One of the simplest and most effective ways to get rid of a stye is by applying warm compresses to the affected area. The heat from the compress helps to increase blood flow to the area, which can help to drain the stye and promote healing.
To make a warm compress, simply soak a clean washcloth in warm water and squeeze the excess water. Hold the compress over the affected area for 5-10 minutes at a time, several times per day.
2. Keep the area clean
To prevent further infection and to promote healing, it is important to keep the affected area clean.
Use a clean washcloth or cotton swab to gently cleanse the area around the stye with warm water and a mild soap. Avoid rubbing the area too vigorously or using harsh soaps, as this can irritate the skin and make the infection worse.
3. Avoid squeezing or popping the stye
It can be tempting to try and squeeze or pop a stye to relieve the discomfort, but this can actually make the infection worse.
Squeezing or popping a stye can cause the infection to spread, leading to further complications. Instead, allow the stye to drain on its own, or seek medical attention if the stye is particularly large or painful.
4. Use over-the-counter treatments
There are a number of over-the-counter treatments that can help to reduce the swelling and pain associated with styes. These include antibiotic ointments, which can help to prevent further infection, as well as over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
5. Seek medical attention if necessary
If the stye does not improve after several days of home treatment, or if it becomes particularly large or painful, it may be necessary to seek medical attention. In some cases, a doctor may need to drain the stye or prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection.
To prevent future occurrences of styes, it is important to maintain good hygiene habits. This includes regularly washing your hands, avoiding touching your eyes, and removing makeup before going to bed. It is also important to avoid sharing makeup or other personal items, as this can increase the risk of infection.
What causes a stye to develop?
Styes develop when an oil gland in the eyelid becomes blocked or infected, typically by bacteria.
How long does it take for a stye to go away?
Most styes will go away within a few days to a week with proper treatment. In some cases, it may take a bit longer.
Should I see a doctor for a stye?
If the stye does not improve after a few days of home care or becomes particularly painful or severe, it may be necessary to see a doctor for proper treatment.
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