Styes are painful and annoying lumps found along the edge of the eyelid, caused by a bacterial infection of an eyelash follicle. A stye is rarely serious and typically goes away on its own, without treatment. Most styes heal in about a week.
Signs and Symptoms of Styes
- A red, pimple-like bump along the edge of the eyelid
- Most styes will swell for about three days before breaking open and draining.
Sometimes, however, styes become persistent and last for weeks or even months unless actively treated.
Click here to view our simple, three-step home stye remedy. It is one of the best and easiest ways to treat a stye at home.
If the above remedy does not help alleviate your problem, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor – ophthalmologist or optometrist – at your earliest convenience. Eye pain and vision impairment are serious situations that require prompt medical attention.
Stye prevention really comes down to hygiene. The cleaner you keep your face, especially the area around your eyes, the less likely styes are to develop. Below, you will find several tips to help prevent styes from forming.
1. Eye Protection: It is important to wear safety glasses when performing any tasks that may bring irritants, such as dirt and dust, into contact with your eyes.
2. Remove Makeup: For starters, you should never go to bed without first removing your makeup, especially eye makeup. Secondly, it is important to replace your makeup at least every 6 months, as bacteria tend to grow in makeup.
3. Wash your Face: It is important to keep your face clean, especially if you are prone to styes.
4. Lid Massage: While it is true that rubbing your eyes frequently can lead to irritation and introduce bacteria to the eye, lid massage can actually be very beneficial. This will open the glands along the eyelid to better express stagnate oils to allow bacterial growth. For more on cleansing the lid please take a look at our blog on blepharitis.
Differences between Styes, Chalazion, and Hordeolum
- Chalazion: A chalazion is a lump in the eyelid, similar to a stye. However, a chalazion is usually larger than a stye and may not hurt.
- Hordeolum: When a stye occurs inside the eyelid, it is called an internal hordeolum.
To learn more about Styes, please contact board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles, consultative optometrists Dr. Nathan Frank and Dr. Corinne Casey, and the eye care specialists at Anne Arundel Eye Center by calling 410-224-2010 or click here to visit AnneArundelEyeCenter.com. Staffed by caring and knowledgeable professionals, our state-of-the-art treatment center is dedicated to making the best eye care accessible to everyone.
For more eye care advice and information, please take a look at our previous blog posts.
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Styes and Chalazia – Topic Overview