Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Styes

swollen stye

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  • The appearance of a stye depends on its type. An external stye produces the typical pus-filled and inflamed bump that is commonly associated with this eyelid infection
  • However, you can make a stye go away quicker by applying a warm compress over your infected eye. Do this procedure three to four times a day for around 15 minutes. Continue applying warm compresses on your eye until the stye ruptures and clears up
  • It’s not safe to pop a stye on your own. Doing so may cause injury to your eyelid and may spread the infection to other parts of your eye, putting you at risk of cellulitis and conjunctivitis

Q: What does a stye look and feel like?

A: The appearance of a stye depends on its type. An external stye produces the typical pus-filled and inflamed bump that is commonly associated with this eyelid infection. It's found on the margins of the eyelids, since it grows on the hair follicle and the glands near it, specifically the sebaceous gland or apocrine gland.

Unlike an external stye, an internal one does not have a visible pus-filled abscess, as it grows underneath the eyelids. It has a less defined appearance, and may cause the eyelid to look swollen. Both types of stye are tender to touch, and you may get a gritty feeling inside the eye.1,2

Q: How do you cure a stye?

A: A stye usually heals on its own after a few days, even without medical intervention. However, you can make a stye go away  quicker by applying a warm compress over your infected eye. Do this procedure three to four times a day for around 15 minutes. Continue applying warm compress on your eye until the stye ruptures and clears up.

You may also use black or green tea bags as compresses if you want added antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits. Try to massage your eyes using your warm compress to promote drainage.3 If home remedies are not effective, your doctor may drain the stye by plucking the eyelash near it or by making an incision on its surface to drain out the pus. This procedure is usually done under general anesthesia.4,5

Q: Do styes hurt?

A: Yes, a stye can be quite painful, especially if it's located inside the eyelid.6

Q: What do you need to do to keep a styefrom worsening?

A: There's a variety of ways to prevent a stye from becoming worse. Cleaning the infected eyelid with mild, chemical-free soap and warm water helps promote healing and prevents eye discharge from building up on the margins of the eyelid. You should also avoid touching your stye with unwashed hands, since this may exacerbate the irritation on your eyelid.

Moreover, avoid using contact lenses and eye makeup while you still have an active stye, since they may irritate your eyelid further. They may also spread the bacterial infection to your belongings, putting you at risk of reinfection.

Q: What's the difference of a stye to a chalazion?

A: Stye and chalazion are often interchanged since they look similar. However, these two eyelid issues are entirely different from each other. A stye is caused by a bacterial infection, while a chalazion results from blocked oil glands on the inner side of the eyelid.7 While both conditions may cause swelling and redness, a chalazion is usually painless. It may also last longer than a stye.8

Q: Is it safe to pop a stye?

A: It's not safe to pop a stye on your own. Doing so may cause injury to your eyelid and may spread the infection to other parts of your eye, putting you at risk of cellulitis and conjunctivitis. Let the stye rupture on its own to prevent serious complications. If it doesn't show signs of healing, then you should contact your physician.9

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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