What is a stye?
A stye (sometimes spelled as “sty”) is an infection of the oil glands that are along the edge of the eyelash. It is a red, painful bump that might appear like a pimple. A stye can form either on or inside the eyelid near the edge of the eyelashes. An external stye, the one appearing on the outside of the upper or lower eyelid, is more common than an internal stye that appears on the inside of the upper or lower eyelid.
The medical term for a stye is a hordeolum. A chalazion is also a bump-like swelling in the eyelid. But unlike a stye, a chalazion is not painful. It appears farther back on the eyelid and is not caused by infection; rather, it is caused by clogging of the opening of the oil-producing glands. Both the chalazion and stye can require similar treatment. However, a chalazion may take longer to heal than a stye.
Why do I get styes in my eye?
Several oil-producing glands are present on your eyelid to lubricate your eyes. Stye is caused when bacteria infect these glands and can occur without an identifiable initiating event. Several factors can put you at risk of getting a stye:
- Lack of hygiene
- Sharing cosmetics
- Using cosmetics after their expiration dates
- Sleeping without removing eye makeup
- Touching your eyes without washing your hands
- Use of infected contact lenses: not properly disinfecting contact lenses, not washing hands before using contact lenses
- Hormonal changes
- Lack of minerals and vitamins in the diet
- Lack of sleep
- Sharing clothes, face towels and spectacles/glasses with people who have styes
How do I get rid of a stye overnight?
You cannot get rid of a stye overnight. Styes often disappear on their own in a few days. Although it might be tempting, never try to pop a stye like a pimple. The golden rule is keep your hands away from the stye.
To reduce pain and swelling:
- Soak a clean washcloth in warm water, wring out excess water, and apply to the eyelid. Do this for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Repeat three to five times a day.
- Gently wipe the eyelid with mild soap such as no-tears baby shampoo and water or eyelid wipes (available in drug stores).
- If the pain is severe, take over-the-counter painkillers.
Also, follow these tips:
- Never touch, squeeze, or pop a stye.
- Do not rub or touch the eyelid.
- Until the eye heals, do not wear makeup or contact lenses.
When to see a doctor for treatment of a stye?
Medical treatment may be needed if the stye does not improve within 48 hours of self-care. Doctors may provide the following treatment:
- Incision and drainage of the stye under local anesthesia.
- Antibiotic ointment.
- Antibiotic eye drops.
- Antibiotic pills if the infection involves the area surrounding the stye. Antibiotic pills may also be needed after incision and drainage of an internal stye.
- Steroid injection into the stye.
What are the symptoms of a stye in the eye?
Stye symptoms include the following:
- An extremely painful red bump at the base of the eyelashes, along the edge of the eyelid
- Eyelid swelling
- The center of the bump may have a tiny pus spot
- Foreign body sensation (feeling like there is something in your eyes)
- Itching in the eyes
- Intolerance or sensitivity to light
- Increased tearing in the affected eye
- Crust formation in the affected eye
- Burning sensation
- Blurry vision
- Sticky discharge from the eye
- Pain on blinking
How can I prevent getting a stye in my eye?
- Wash your hands well, especially before touching your face and eyes.
- Wash your hands every time you wear or remove your contact lenses.
- Clean contact lenses before and after use with disinfectant and lens cleaning solution.
- If you use daily wear or other “limited use” lenses, discard them on the schedule recommended by your eye doctor.
- Remove contact lenses before sleep.
- Wash your face and remove makeup before going to bed.
- Do not use old or expired makeup.
- Do not share cosmetics with others.
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Do not share towels or clothes with someone who has a stye.
- Keep your blood sugar under control.
- Get a regular eye checkup.
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How Long Does It Take for a Stye to Go Away?A stye, also known as a hordeolum, is a red, painful bump that forms either inside or outside the eyelid. An eye stye is mainly caused by a bacterial infection. A stye usually resolves in about seven days. However, some cases of stye require medical help. A stye may be sometimes confused with a chalazion. A chalazion is a painless bump that is on the eyelid. A chalazion, unlike a stye, is not caused by a bacterial infection.
Is Pinkeye Contagious?Pinkeye (conjunctivitis) is inflammation of the conjunctiva. Whether pinkeye is contagious depends upon what is causing the irritation. With pinkeye, people may experience swollen eyelids, a pinkish color in the whites of the eyes, eye discharge, photophobia, increased tear production, and itching.
What Are Some Common Eye Infections?An eye infection is a condition in which viruses, bacteria or other microbial agents may attack the eye. This can cause itching around the eyes or the eyes may turn pink. The infection can affect the eyelid, cornea or conjuctiva (inside lining of the eyelid).
What Does An Eye Infection Look Like?An eye infection may bring about the following changes in the eye: A pink tint in the whites of the eye, swollen red or purple eyelids, crusty lashes or lids, and/or discharge of fluids which may be yellow, green or clear.
What Is a Twitching Eye a Sign of?A blepharospasm (eye twitch) is a harmless tic of the eyelid muscle, which may resolve on its own. Conditions that may cause eye twitch include blepharitis, dry eyes, light sensitivity or conjunctivitis. Nerve disorders can also cause eye twitching.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of a Chalazion?Stye is painful inflammation and swelling on the eyelid with the accumulation of pus. It is an infection commonly caused by the bacterium, Staphylococcus. It is usually not possible to get rid of a chalazion completely overnight or “fast” because there are no shortcuts to the treatment. You can use warm compresses, gentle cleansers and painkillers to treat a chalazion or see your doctor for medical intervention or surgery.
Why Are My Eyes Twitching?Eye twitching, or blepharospasm, is a condition in which you cannot keep your eyes open for a long time due to spasms. The main causes of eye twitch include fatigue, stress, smoking, caffeine, medication side effects, light sensitivity, lack of sleep, foreign particles in the eye, and corneal irritation.