• How to Deal With Eye Stye - Treatment Options

How to Deal With Eye Stye — Treatment Options

I spy with my lit­tle eye, a stye. Ugh.

A stye is an abscess or a pim­ple that usu­al­ly forms on the upper or low­er eye­lid. It starts out as a pim­ple next to an eye­lash before it turns into an unsight­ly, painful red bump. Most of the time, you can get stye treat­ments from the com­fort of your own home until they break and start to heal.

Some­times a stye will grow on the inside of the eye­lid. This is called an inter­nal horde­olum. It may not respond to the treat­ments dis­cussed below and should be looked at by a doc­tor or oph­thal­mol­o­gist.

Is It a Stye or Chalazion?

Some­times a stye isn’t a stye but a cha­lazion, which is a sim­i­lar irri­ta­tion on the eye­lid.

  • A stye usu­al­ly forms on the out­er rim of the eye­lid before it spreads out, mak­ing the whole lid look red and ugly. It also hurts.
  • A cha­lazion is an infec­tion caused by a clogged oil gland and grows under the eye­lid, in the mid­dle of the eye­lid, or behind the eye­lash­es. It’s usu­al­ly pain­less.

Cha­lazions are larg­er than styes, approach­ing the size of a pea, which is pret­ty big on an eye­lid and can inter­fere with vision.

A Warm Compress For Eye Stye Relieves the Pain

Any­thing that touch­es your eyes, includ­ing your hands, must be clean.

After thor­ough­ly wash­ing your hands, take a clean, soft wash­cloth and soak it in warm water to make a stye com­press. Be sure the cloth doesn’t get too hot for the sen­si­tive skin around your eye.

Keep your eye closed when you apply the com­press, and leave it on for 10 to 15 min­utes. Do this two to four times a day for sev­er­al days. You’ll start to feel it shrink and the pain lessens after a cou­ple of days. Even­tu­al­ly, the stye will pop on its own. Use a clean cloth or cot­ton ball to absorb the flu­id and clean the eye with a warm, soapy solu­tion.

A Warm Compress For Eye Stye Relieves the Pain

You can also try using a warm tea bag com­press. Black tea has antibac­te­r­i­al prop­er­ties, which is help­ful with inflam­ma­tion and can reduce swelling as well.

Stye warm com­press­es can also soothe cha­lazion but may not do much to clear them up. So, if your stye doesn’t improve for a few days or con­tin­ues to swell, you may have a cha­lazion. Time to call your doc­tor.

Don’t Pop a Stye

If you’ve ever won­dered how to pop a stye — just don’t. It’s con­ta­gious, and the last thing you want to do is spread the flu­ids from a stye.

A stye that doesn’t go away — doesn’t shrink and pop on its own, or gets worse — needs to be prop­er­ly drained by a physi­cian or eye care spe­cial­ist, par­tic­u­lar­ly if it turns out to be a cha­lazion.

What you can do is gen­tly press the inflamed bump with a clean fin­ger after it’s been under a warm com­press to help it unplug. That isn’t exact­ly pop­ping it, but help­ing the process move along.

Prevent Styes Before They Form

Use a warm com­press for any sore spot that devel­ops near your eye­lash­es. It may be the begin­ning of a stye, and the heat from the com­press can help it drain on its own before it forms into an actu­al stye.

If you fre­quent­ly get styes, try using pre-moist­ened eye­lid clean­ing pads or ask your doc­tor for an antibi­ot­ic oint­ment. He or she may also want to eval­u­ate you for ble­phar­i­tis, a chron­ic inflam­ma­tion of the eye­lids, or ocu­lar rosacea, an inflam­ma­tion that red­dens the skin.

January 16th, 2019|Comments Off on How to Deal With Eye Stye — Treatment Options

About the Author:

Born in Connecticut and raised in Upstate New York , Dr. Stetson graduated Cum Laude from Colgate University in New York, and then earned an MD degree with honors at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He distinguished himself again in residency at the Albany Medical Center, where he obtained the highest percentile in the Ophthalmology Knowledge Assessment Examinations. Dr. Stetson has performed more than 50,000 refractive surgeries and has been on staff at Diamond Vision since 2004, before becoming Medical Director in 2006.


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