A sty is a small, painful lump inside or inside the eyelid or around the eye. The skin may be red, swollen and full of yellow pus like a pimple. A person's eye may be red and watery, but their vision should not be affected. Fortunately, a person can clear up the condition by following several steps.
According to the NHS, the following steps should reduce swelling and help stye heal:
Soak a clean flannel in warm water.
Hold it against your eye for five to 10 minutes.
Repeat this three or four times a day.
"To relieve pain, take pain relievers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen," said the health agency.
If simple self-help tips fail to reduce swelling, a person's doctor can pierce it with a needle or make a small cut to drain it, Bupa explained.
The health agency added: "Your doctor may prescribe topical or oral antibiotics if the infection has spread and is affecting other areas of your eye, or if your infection is severe."
What to avoid
To avoid worsening symptoms, the NHS also recommends avoiding wearing contact lenses and eye makeup until the stye has burst and healed.
“Don't try to bust a stye or take off a tab yourself. This can spread the infection, ”he warned.
To prevent the condition from developing in the first place, the Mayo Clinic recommends that a person wash their hands with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer several times a day.
A person should also avoid rubbing their eyes if they have not washed their hands recently, the NHS added.
In addition, the Mayo Clinic also suggests applying a warm compression: "If you have had a stye before, using a compress regularly can help keep you from coming back."
The NHS also discourages sharing towels or flannels with someone who has a stye.
According to the NHS, a person should consult their GP if their stye:
It is very painful or inflamed.
It does not improve in a few weeks.
Persistent symptoms can cause complications. According to Bupa, an internal stye can sometimes become a chalazion, which is a blocked meibomian gland.
As the health site explained: “The initial stye pain improves but you have a painless swelling the size of a pea.
"When you lift your eyelid and turn it around, you can see a smooth yellow cyst."
Occasionally, a stye can also cause an infection of a person's entire eyelid and the skin around the eye (cellulite), the health site explained.
"If you develop increased inflammation and redness, contact your doctor," he noted.