How To Care for a Sty

A sty is a common infection that anybody can develop at any time. A sty is a tender and painful red bump that is sometimes located at the base of an eyelash or under an eyelid. A sty can come from an infection of the oil glands in the eyelids. It can also come from an infected hair follicle. Sties can also occur from inflammation of the eyelid. Please note that sties are not contagious.

The primary symptoms of a sty are feelings of pain and tenderness in the affected area. The eye may also be red and feel irritated. Other symptoms can include swelling around the eyes, discomfort when blinking, and watery eyes. Another common symptom is the appearance of a small and yellowish spot at the center of the bump. This will soon begin to fill with pus.

A sty can be easily treated at home. Applying a warm compress or a warm washcloth to the affected area for approximately ten minutes, four to six times a day, can speed up the rupturing of the sty and give some relief from the symptoms.

Once it drains on its own, be sure to keep the area clean. Please be advised that you should not attempt to press or squeeze the sty in order to drain it. However, if the sty is still present after several days, see a doctor.

Your doctor may use local anesthesia in order to drain the sty.  Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotic cream to treat the sty and to prevent a recurrence. You can also use over the counter pain medications for pain relief. It is also recommended that you not wear contact lenses or eye makeup while being treated for a sty. The sty will usually go away within a week.

There are some precautions you can take to avoid getting a sty. To prevent future infections, make sure you practice good hygiene by washing your hands thoroughly. Also try to keep your hands away from your eyes, especially when you are sick. You should also try not to use old makeup or share makeup with anyone else. Certain cosmetics have expiration dates so that you will know when to throw them out. If you are a contact lens wearer, try not to wear a pair over the recommended length of time. In addition, make sure that the lenses are well disinfected and wash your hands thoroughly before inserting them.


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