How Long Do Styes Last?

chalazion

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  • Placing a warm compress over the affected eyelid is one of the tried-and-tested strategies that can help a stye mature and drain quickly
  • Popping a stye may seem like a quick and easy way to end this infection, but it’s highly discouraged since doing this on your own may spread the infection and/or lead to scarring
  • Preseptal cellulitis is a complication that may occur if the bacterial infection of a stye spreads to the eyelid tissues surrounding it

You probably want your stye to go away the moment that it appeared. Fortunately, this sore and unsightly bump won’t really last for a long time, since it’s just a minor, short-term bacterial infection.1

There is no definite way to determine how long a stye will last, as it may differ from one person to another. Generally, the swelling phase of a stye lasts for around three days. During this time, the pus will come to a head, which will eventually break open and drain on its own. The healing process starts after the stye has been drained, and this phase usually lasts for approximately seven to 10 days.2

You may try to shorten the lifespan of a stye with the help of simple home remedies. Placing a warm compress over the affected eyelid is one of the tried-and-tested strategies that can help a stye mature and drain quickly. You may also use natural ingredients with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, as they may help soothe and heal your stye. Some good examples are black and green tea, as well as coriander seed tea.

Popping a stye may seem like a quick and easy way to end this infection, but it’s highly discouraged since doing this on your own may spread the infection and/or lead to scarring. Do not forcibly drain your stye, and instead allow it to run its course and rupture on its own.3,4

What to Do if a Stye Doesn’t Show Signs of Healing

If your stye doesn’t clear up after a few days of home treatment, then it’s time for you to see a doctor. Some styes do not rupture and heal on their own, especially those located on the underside of the eyelid. Since this type of stye tends to be more serious, an eye specialist may need to open and drain it.5

You should also seek immediate medical attention if your stye is already affecting your vision, getting bigger and/or becoming more painful, since these symptoms may indicate a more serious eye infection or complication.6

Stye Complications That You Need To Be Aware Of

Although complications related to stye are quite uncommon, they’re not entirely impossible to get, especially if you don’t manage your eyelid infection properly. These complications include:

Chalazion: If left untreated, a stye may become a chalazion, which is a benign, painless eyelid bump that may cause visual interference and lead to astigmatism or reduced peripheral vision over time.7,8

Preseptal cellulitis: This complication may occur if the bacterial infection of a stye spreads to the eyelid tissues surrounding it. Cellulitis requires immediate medical attention, as it may lead to permanent vision problems.9

Conjunctivitis: If the bacterial infection spreads to the eye itself, then you may develop conjunctivitis or pinkeye. This condition is characterized by the inflammation of the membranes on the white part of the eye as a reaction to the Staphylococcus bacteria. If not treated properly, this complication may lead to decreased vision or complete vision loss.10

In addition to the complications mentioned above, a stye may also disrupt the lash growth and cause lid deformity and fistula if drained incorrectly.11

MORE ABOUT STYE

Stye: Introduction

What Is a Stye?

Stye Symptoms

Stye Causes

Stye Treatment

Stye Prevention

How to Get Rid of a Stye

Is a Stye Contagious?

How Long Do Styes Last?

Stye FAQ



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