A stye is a common eyelid problem, also known as an external hordeolum. It is often described as painful, red, pimple-like swelling or eyelid lump.
Stye development is often caused by an infection of the oil glands around the bottom of the eyelashes and can happen fast and unpredictably.
The most common treatment for a stye is the application of a warm compress and eyelid cleansing.
The warm compress can be used as often as possible. The warmth helps loosen and drain the infection more naturally, reducing the inflammation and thus relieving the symptoms. It is also soothing and can help heal after the stye drains.
On average, a stye should resolve and drains between 2 to 6 days after the warm compress application.
A stye can become chronic and develop into Chalazion or internal Hordeolum (the infection is at the meibomian glands of the eyelids). Contact your eye doctor if the stye persists. Your eye doctor might prescribe antibiotics
It is not advisable to squeeze or push the stye to rupture or drain it. The infection can spread to bigger areas.
A chalazion is a red, swelling, boil-like lump inside of the eyelid caused by an infected meibomian oil gland.
A chalazion can also start from a stye that spreads deeper.
In the first couple of days, there might be visible redness and an inflamed area on then it can turn into a lump in a few days. Can be tender if it gets bigger.
How to treat them?
- The warm compresses can increase swelling at first
- Do not pop the stye.
- With constant heat, the infection often comes to the surface and drains on its own.
Reach out to your doctor if:
- If the stye doesn't show any signs of improvement after two days after using a warm compress
- If the redness and swelling speed to the other area
- If you develop chill or fever
- if you have swollen lymph nodes around your ears
sometimes your doctor will prescribe topical antibiotics such as eye drops or eye ointment, In rare cases, your eye doctor might need to perform an incision and drainage.
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Styes and chalazia (inflammation of the eyelid): Overview InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Styes and chalazia (inflammation of the eyelid): Overview. 2019 Dec 5. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557372/