A stye is bacterial infection that occurs when the oil glands in the eyelid get infected by certain bacteria.
- Yellowish Discharge
- Eyelid swelling
- Sensitivity to light
- Tender eyelids
- Watery eyes
- Gritty feeling in the eye
- Eyelid pain
Some factors that increase the risk of bacteria entering the eye and causing a stye include:
- Using contaminated eyeliner or mascara
- Inflammation of the eyelid/Blepharitis
- Leaving makeup on overnight
- Touching the eyes with unwashed hands
- Inserting contact lenses without thoroughly disinfecting them
The risk of getting a stye increases if one has had a stye before.
HOW TO PREVENT A STYE
- Wash your hands properly before touching your eyes
- Take medication to relieve any allergies and itching you may have
- Clean contact lenses properly before using them
If you do get a stye, some actions you can take in order to heal faster
- Wash your hands frequently
- Avoid wearing makeup till the stye is completely healed
- Discard old eye makeup
- Stay away from contact lenses
WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR
Most styes will resolve on their own after a few days. However, you should contact your doctor if:
- The stye does not show signs of improvement after a few days
- Other parts of the eye and face start to swell
- Your vision is affected
A warm compress is the primary home remedy for a stye. This can be achieved by soaking a clean wash cloth in hot water till it is warm (It should be at a temperature that the skin can tolerate). Place the warm wash cloth over the affected eye for 10 mins. Repeat this three to four times a day.
Most styes will go away on their own in a few days, However, if a stye does not heal on its own, visit your doctor so that appropriate medication can be prescribed.
Try not to pop a stye as you can spread the infection to the rest of your eyelid.