If you've got red, tender bumps on your eyelids, don't panic. They're called styes and are usually harmless. They are most often caused by a bacterial infection in the eyelid that will generally pass within a week or so. Here are some tips for treating the condition safely and easily.
Cleanliness is Virtue
Cleansing your eyelids is the first step to treating these painful and annoying styes. Using cotton pads or a soft washcloth, dab at your eyes with some diluted baby shampoo or tear-free soap. Alternatively, you can use over-the-counter eye rinse pads available at most pharmacies.
Thoroughly rinse your eye afterwards with warm water and dry gently. Make sure not to share towels while you have the stye as they can be contagious. For the same reason, you should get rid of old makeup applicators and avoid using makeup entirely while the style lasts.
If you are usually a contacts wearer, switch to glasses to maintain a cleaner eye environment.
Warm Compresses (or teabags)
Healing is often sped up if you apply warm compresses three to four times daily. This brings the infection to a head, allowing it to open up and drain naturally. Do NOT try and rush the process by popping it yourself!
While hot compresses are available for purchase in your local drugstore, you can also just as easily use warm (not scalding!) teabags or washcloth that's been thoroughly squeezed to remove most of the water.
What if It's really bad?
Large or extremely painful styes might be a reason to see your optometrist. Don't go to the emergency room! That would be an expensive waste of time. Your Richboro eye doctor can surgically drain the stye if necessary, If you're unsure about how bad it is, just give us a call and our optometrist will try and fit you in as soon as possible.