All About Styes

What is a Stye?

A stye is a painful swollen spot in the upper or lower eyelid, near the lash line.  The stye develops due to an infection in the eyelash follicles or oil glands at the lid margin.

The inflamed area may be tender to the touch.  It appears as a red bump, possibly with a yellowish spot where pus has collected, like a pimple. It can occur on both the upper and lower eyelid, and is common in both children and adults.  Styes develop gradually and sometimes go away on their own.

Home Care: What should I do if I feel a stye developing?

  1. Apply warm moist compresses 10 minutes 4 times a day.
  2. Keep your eyelids clean. Use warm water and baby shampoo on a cotton ball.
  3. STOP wearing eye makeup. Covering up a stye may slow your healing.
  4. Don’t wear contacts. Wear your glasses until the stye is gone.
  5. Wash your hands!  Keep your hands clean and don’t share washcloths or towels with others.
  6. Do NOT Squeeze! Styes should not be squeezed or punctured at home.
When should I see the doctor?

If the stye is painful, causes vision problems, or does not improve after a few days, call for an appointment. You may need medication to treat the infection. When in doubt, pick up the phone and give us a call.  We are always willing to discuss your symptoms and bring you in to the office if needed.

After your eye is healed, it is important to replace all of your eye makeup that has come in contact with your infected eye.  That includes eyeliner, mascara, concealer and eye pencils.

Is there any way to prevent a stye?

A stye develops due to a blocked pore, so it makes sense that keeping your eyelids clean is the best way to prevent styes. Don’t sleep in your makeup!  Take the time to remove ALL makeup before you go to bed each night.  Replace your eye makeup every six months, and don’t share it with others.

Cleanse your eyelids in the morning as well to keep the lid margins clear. The crusty discharge that accumulates overnight in the corners and on the lashes should be cleared away with the warm water and baby shampoo method.

To read more about keeping your eyes healthy…scroll through the Moran Eye Associates blog.  You’ll find helpful information on eye care from our doctors and staff.