Stye Infections and How to Prevent Them
Do you have tender, red bumps on the edge of your eyelids? Most likely, they are styes. Besides the fact that you can prevent stye infections, you can treat them by yourself. Imagine how awkward it is having a serious moment, and someone happens to look in your eyes, and you had a stye. It is really awkward and uncomfortable. Anything that should not be where it is must be removed, right? It should not be allowed to spread. Do not let it make you uncomfortable when you can do something about it.
What is a Stye?
A stye is an infection in the eyelash follicle or the tear gland. When a trauma (a scratch) or a bacteria is introduced to the area, the follicle or the gland sometimes gets blocked and infected. Styes usually occur under the eyelid or on the edge of the eyelid. They are bumps that look like pimples surrounded by redness. Most of these last three days. They pop and heal in a week.
What Causes Styes?
Some habits put you at the risk of getting this infection. Poor eye hygiene is one of them. To prevent getting the infection, wash your face before bedtime to get off the make-up. This way, the eye follicles will not get plugged overnight.
It would also be a good idea to replace eye makeup every six months to avoid bacterial growth in it. Practice good hand hygiene always. Also, avoid rubbing your eyes if you have an allergy. Note that not wearing any eye make-up and contact lenses would be ideal to avoid further irritation in the eyes.
How are Styes Treated?
Since styes look like pimples, desist from squeezing them. The healing comes when they dry up. Wait for it to ripen, burst by itself and dry up. You can hasten the process by placing a warm damp towel on the affected eye for about 15 minutes for a few times every day.
You can heat the wet washcloth for 10- 20 seconds in the microwave. However, ensure that it does not become too hot. Folding the damp cloth is convenient because as the edge of the warm compress cools, you can unfold and use the warmer side.
There are also over-the-counter ointments and solutions to treat a stye. However, doctors recommend the proven and inexpensive options. You can wash your eye with a baby shampoo to ensure the ointment does not burn your eye.
How can you tell that you need further treatment?
Be certain that what you have is a stye. Consulting your physician is the best option. You need further treatment if the stye is not improving after several days. Also, seek further treatment if the stye worsens, grows in size, or bleeds and affects your vision.
Another sign is when it spreads to the white part of the eye. When you see the redness in the cheeks or other parts of the face, the infection is probably spreading. Your physician may prescribe an oral dose or antibiotic drops.
There are instances when the bumps on the eyes are harmless, just like chalazion and xanthelasma. A chalazion is a firm lump in an oil gland in the eyelid. These lumps usually go away after some time. A xanthelasma is not harmful, but it does not look good. If you have one, the doctor can remove it.
There are rare cases where cancer causes bumps in the eye area.
Styes are mostly easy to manage, but they are annoying. If they still won’t go away, the best thing to do would be discussing the treatment options with your doctor.
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