What Do You Do for a Stye?


Quick Answer

A warm, wet compress can be applied to a stye for 10- to 15-minute intervals, two to four times daily, according to WebMD. This simple treatment can help the stye heal faster as well as relieving immediate pain and swelling. Keep the eye closed while applying the compresses, and when the stye comes to a head, continue to apply pressure to encourage its rupture.

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What Do You Do for a Stye?
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Full Answer

It is important that the stye not be squeezed in an attempt to rupture it, but instead allowed to rupture on its own, according to WebMD. Most styes heal in a few days with no further treatment. In some cases, oral antibiotics may be needed to treat the stye to prevent the spread of infection to neighboring skin. For recurrent styes, medication such as local or oral antibiotics may be needed to prevent them from coming back.

In some cases, minor surgery may be needed to ensure that a stye is completely drained, according to WebMD. In this case, an ophthalmologist uses a local anesthetic to numb the surrounding area and opens the stye to remove any remaining contents. Practicing good hygiene by washing the eyelids daily can prevent styes from forming. At the first indication of a stye, typically noticeable by tenderness in the eyelashes, a warm compress can help to resolve the stye more quickly.

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