What is a stye?

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A stye is a firm, red lump that develops on the eyelids that looks similar to a pimple and causes pain. Stye is filled with pus and just heals by itself in a few days. Stye develops along the outer edges of the eyelids and can also develop in inner area. In most cases, a stye can be relieved by applying warm compresses over the affected area.

Common symptoms of stye

  • Watering of the eye
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Swelling of the eyelids
  • Pain in the affected eyelids
  • Appearance of a red, raised area found in the eyelid that looks similar to a pimple
  • Discomfort when blinking the eye
  • Tenderness
  • Grittiness and burning sensation felt on the eyelids
  • Mucus discharge coming from the affected eye
Stye can be caused by bacteria called staphylococcus and this is transferred to the eyes by poor hygiene practices.

Common causes of stye

  • Stye can be caused by bacteria called staphylococcus and this is transferred to the eyes by poor hygiene practices.
  • Stye can also cause inflammation which is known as blepharitis which involves chronic inflammation that develops along the rim of the eyelid. Proper treatment of blepharitis helps prevent the occurrence of styes.
  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes

Treatment and home remedies for stye

  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water. Avoid rubbing the eyes using dirty hands in order to prevent dirt and other particles that can cause the clogging of oil glands or cause irritation of an existing stye.
  • Avoid squeezing or popping a stye since it can make the condition worse. Remember that releasing the pus will only spread the infection. Let it drain by itself or seek medical help.
  • Apply a warm washcloth over the affected eye. Soak a clean washcloth in warm (not hot) water, wring the excess water and place it over the affected eye for at least 5-10 minutes at 3-4 times every day. The warmth of the wash cloth helps in dissolving the pus and allows the stye to drain naturally.
  • Avoid wearing makeup over a stye since it can irritate the eye and delay the healing process. Bacteria can enter the stye coming from the makeup pencils and brushes which can spread infections to the eye.
  • Avoid wearing contact lenses until the stye is totally healed in order to help in preventing the bacteria from sticking on the contact lens and spreading the infection.
  • Clean the eyelids using a tear-free baby shampoo. Mix it with a few drops of warm water and gently clean the eyelids using a cotton swab or a clean washcloth at least every day.
  • Avoid using old makeup since it can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Wash thoroughly reusable brushes regularly and throw away mascara, eye shadow, liquid eyeliner that is over three months old.
  • Apply a warm teabag compress on the affected eye. This helps minimize swelling because it has antibacterial properties. Boil water and immerse the teabag in a mug. Let it steep for about 1 minute, let it cool down and then apply on the eye for at least 5-10 minutes. Utilize a separate teabag for each eye.
  • Take a prescribed pain medication like ibuprofen helps in minimizing pain.

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