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How to Treat Stye in Eye

Updated on February 9, 2012
Stye in Eye
Stye in Eye | Source

A stye can appear in your eye at any moment without any chance to heal immediately. When a stye occurs, it can take weeks or months to remove or heal. A stye can seriously affect your social life because it can temporarily disfigure the eyelids and the skin around your eye. You eyelids will be swollen. If you don’t do any preventive measures, you will be susceptible to become a victim of stye.

Your lower or upper eyelids can receive styes inside or outside the skin. The pores of the area around the eye can get clogged or blocked. The pores are oil glands or eyelash follicles. When the oil glands or follicles get bacterial infection and the pores are blocked, a stye will occur. The beginning stages of the stye will appear as a tiny wart. If this bump does not go away on its own, a swollen lump on the skin will be visible. When a larger lump occurs, it is called a chalazion. People use chalazion and style interchangeably. You may feel pain and the swelling on the skin may obscure your vision.

Once you see a stye, go to an eye doctor or ophthalmologist. Do not go to an eye doctor that only prescribes eyeglasses or contacts. This doctor is called an optometrist. Do not wait, otherwise the problem will literally get bigger. The procedure to remove the stye will be to lance (pierce) it and drain any fluids such as pus and allow the pores to open.

For styes that have not become a chalazion, you can do preventive measures to avoid bigger swelling. Apply warm wet compress (soft clean cloth) on the stye. Put pressure for five minutes. A small face towel soaked in hot water will suffice. Using warm water may cool too fast. Repeat at least four times a day. If you are working in an office, find any clean absorbent material such as cloth or paper towel to use as a compress.

It will take time to apply pressure on the stye. The pressure will force the pus to drain from the blocked pores. The pores will later heal. If the stye continues to get bigger, go to an ophthalmologist.

Make sure you keep the hands and any compress clean. Make sure that you don’t cross contaminate the eyes. For example, if your left eye has a stye, don’t let the warm compress or your fingers touch your right eye.

Another quick way for removing a stye that is not a chalazion yet is to wrap a small potato with a wet paper towel. Microwave the potato until it is hot. You will have to test how hot you want the potato before putting it in your eye. Every microwave oven is different and each person has their own tolerance for heat. The advantage of using a hot potato is that it will stay hot longer than a hot wet compress. The disadvantage is that the hot potato could also burn you if you are not careful.

For preventive medicine, shampoo your eyes whenever you shower or bath. Make sure you target the eyelids.

Never attempt to lance a stye or chalazion on your own. You could be doing more harm to yourself and the damage could be permanent.


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    • Romian1 profile image

      Romian1 2 years ago

      An optometrist only handles vision care and an ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (MD). Both doctors can not cure styes and the best they can do is treat after the fact. They have both given me ideas to prevent styes but once they occur, there is no overnight cure.

      Thanks to the internet, I have tried and tested other people's ideas that work for me in the cure and prevention of stye. I will share them in a hub article as soon as I find time.

    • profile image

      Carla 2 years ago

      to really be for sure you shulod contact an optometrist (eye specialist). Have you brought this up to your family doctor? I don't know what it is called but i would consult a doctor about it. It can be a sign for something being wrong somewhere in your body. Your eyes can tell a lot.

    • Romian1 profile image

      Romian1 5 years ago

      Yes, but you misquoted me. I said that "People use chalazion and style interchangeably" and I later explained the the difference. The average citizen can't even pronounce "chalzion" so they say stye instead.

      I had chalzions on both eyes several years ago and it seemed to make a healthy man like me disabled.

      I like the tip on involving loose leaf tea. I have not heard of this method before but I really appreciate this information. The last few years I have been susceptible to styes and I usually treat them using the ideas mentioned in my article. I will definitely try the tea with cotton balls to check the effectiveness on myself.


    • profile image

      ConcernedMom 5 years ago

      My three year old has the chalzions that this article says can be named interchangeably with a stye. It may be true that people mix up these names, but they are not the same thing. A stye can happen anywhere in the eye, but the chalzion is a clogged eyelash pore. My three year old has them on both eyes. He won't let me put a warm compress on even in his sleep. Today I met a nice Russian lady who said she boils loose leaf tea and then applies the tea with a cotton ball to the infected eye. I did my first dose tonight. I hope it works.

    • Romian1 profile image

      Romian1 6 years ago

      Thank you. I've been a victim of stye and it really makes you not want to go out. As soon as it comes, take care of it before it becomes bigger.

    • profile image

      Annie 6 years ago

      Really useful article, it will help me to rid of my stye.