What are styes?
It’s a very common eye issue but it can be annoying if you are preparing for a special occasion or photo-op and wake up to a little red, sore bump on your eyelid next to your upper or lower lashes. It’s likely you have a stye, technically called a hordeolum. Styes are tiny bumps that can grow on the inside or outside of the eyelid. It’s true, they are painful and annoying, but they are rarely serious and are not harmful to vision. Most go away on their own without treatment and do not usually cause vision problems.
Styes are caused by staphylococcal bacteria that everyone has in their body. The bacteria grows in the root or follicle of an eyelash and forms a pimple-like bump.
- The first sign is tenderness, swelling and pain.
- A small pimple may develop in the affected area.
- Most styes heal on their own within a few days. You can encourage healing by applying hot compresses for 10 to 15 minutes, three or four times a day. In most cases, the stye will drain and heal without further intervention.
- Never, ever, ever try to “pop” a stye. You will spread the infection and the results of that could be serious.
- Don’t wear eye make-up or contact lenses until the stye has healed.
- If you get styes often, wash your eyelids daily with a little bit of baby shampoo mixed in warm water.
- Don’t rub your eyes. Your hands can transfer bacteria to your eyes.
- Even though everybody carries bacteria in their body, styes are contagious. That’s why it’s important to keep your eyes and hands clean and avoid sharing pillowcases, bedsheets, washcloths or towels with anyone.
- The bacteria that causes styes is found in your nose and is transferred easily to your eye when you touch your nose and then touch your eye.
- Bacteria grows rapidly in make-up, so replace your eye make-up every three to six months.
If you experience frequent styes or if you have a stye is not getting better with home treatment, call for an appointment with one of our doctors: (888) 296-0106.