How to treat a stye

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How to treat a stye
Treat a Stye

Styes can happen at the worst time. An event is scheduled where appearance is important, and the classic red eyelid bump surfaces. A stye causes eye pain, itching, tears, blurred vision and light sensitivity. Without treatment, a stye lasts about 4 days. A few simple procedures can speed recovery and reduce discomfort.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Warm water
  • Washcloth
  • Antibacterial soap

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  1. 1

    Understand the cause. A stye forms when bacteria infect the pores of the upper or lower eyelid. Pus collects and a yellow dot marks the center of the stye. Unwashed hands are usually the culprit. Stress contributes to the problem by reducing the ability of the body to fight infections.

  2. 2

    Apply a warm washcloth to the eye. Hold it in place for 10 minutes. Repeat this treatment at least four times throughout the day. The warmth promotes circulation of blood to the stye and this helps the body fight the infection. The stye eventually comes to a head and drains.

  3. 3

    Massage the eyelid gently. This treatment promotes the circulation of blood to the eyelid and helps reduce fluid build up in the stye.

  4. 4

    Contact a physician for an antibiotic. This treatment prevents the spread of the bacteria. This is a concern for those with recurring styes and children who are in contact with other children. The doctor will prescribe an eye ointment or eye drops.

  5. 5

    See a physician for treatment if there are no signs of improvement in three days or the stye has not healed in ten days. The physician will drain the stye and evaluate for other eye conditions.

  6. 6

    Practice prevention. Wash hands frequently. Keep eyes closed and wash the outer eyelids daily. Use antibacterial soap. Replace contaminated eye makeup.

Tips and warnings

  • Never squeeze a stye.
  • Do not wear a contact lens when you have a stye.

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