- Vision & Eye Care
How To Get Rid of a Stye
What is a Stye?
The word "eye" rhymes very well with "stye" but unfortunately, it is something that is dreadful and unwanted there. A stye (medically known as hordeolum) is a small reddish bump on the eyelid that can be either internal or external. Most people at some point in their life will encounter a stye infection as the bacteria that causes this infection resides right in our body and is contagious. To be exact, the bacteria is medically known as Staphylococcus and resides right in our nostrils.
In short, it is like a pimple on the eye, discomfort and pus inclusive. Similarly, they are relatively harmless (though sometimes it may spread) and rarely lead to serious problems. This article explains on some ways on how to get rid of a stye fast.
What You Should NOT Do
Although harmless and best left alone, a stye infection can lead to further complications if the condition is handled inappropriately. Before explaining how to cure a stye, there are certain things we should not do.
Do not squeeze a stye - Like pimples, it is by nature we tend to squeeze bumps on our body. However, we should not squeeze and rupture a stye by force. As the bacteria is contagious, the infection can spread to other areas of the eye.
Do not rub your eyes - This is especially so if you have dirty hands as it may worsen the condition. If your eyelids experience discomfort, a piece of cloth dampened with hot water can relive it.
Do not share towels or handkerchiefs - It can spread to others, remember, it can be contagious.
Do not use contact lenses - Bear with your vanity and use prescription glasses while your stye heals naturally. If possible, avoid makeup on the eye as well.
Waiting It Out
The best way to rid your stye is to wait it out and let it heal on its own. A stye infection cures naturally within a week, sometimes in days. If you are thinking of how to get rid of a style overnight or in one day, I would say it's rather impossible. Of course, it important not to reiterate not to squeeze the bump and let it rupture on its own. If it takes more than 10 days to heal naturally, it is certainly more than just a stye or a case of complications occurring.
Warm Water Compresses
Applying heat is the best way to accelerate healing of a stye. Use warm water compresses few times daily for about 5 to 10 minutes each. In addition to being effective at killing some bacteria, it provides soothing relief and it works especially well for sty infection in infants. Warm to hot (not scalding) water should be used and do not forget to use a clean piece of cloth. You can also use cotton balls or buds, free of dirt of course.
You can purchase antibacterial ointments or creams over the counter at most pharmacies to treat styes. They are not costly and usually use common ingredients such as mineral oils and wheat germ oil. Use a painkiller such as paracetamol if necessary but if the pain is unbearable, I would suggest paying the doctor a visit instead. Remember to follow the directions on the medication strictly!
Visit The Doctor
If healing takes too long (> 10 days), or if the stye causes extreme pain (even bleeding) or if styes keep reappearing, then you should seriously consider visiting a doctor to get rid of a stye for good.
An experienced doctor may decide to prescribe some ointment, antibiotics or even perform minor surgery to drain out the pus. The doctor can even diagnose the bump as a chalazion and not a stye. Chalazions are cysts on the eyelids which can have more serious complications and require more attention. Due to the resemblance and characteristics, Chalazions are often easily mistaken as styes.