Would you know a stye if you saw one?

40540500 - close up right upper eye lid abscess "stye or hordeolum"Today, we’re shedding some light on a problem that we sometimes see at our practice: the eyelid stye.

What does a stye look and feel like, and how do you know if you have one? The stye is a swollen, uncomfortable lump on either the upper or lower lid. It might even look like a small boil, or pimple. A stye can be large or small, and may sometimes ooze or crust over. Styes are often caused by a bacterial infection of an eyelash follicle, or the glands of the eyelids. They are incredibly common, and may go away without treatment in about a week. But, you’ll still want to know how to treat them, and when to see an eye doctor!

If you think you may have a stye, we recommend keeping your hands clean and trying to touch it as little as possible. Definitely don’t try to pop the style, or put pressure on it. Instead, gently try using warm compresses – a clean, wet washcloth works well, as does standing in the shower – to ease discomfort, clear the area, and improve circulation to encourage healing.

Call us if the stye doesn’t seem to be healing, or is very painful, or if your vision is impacted in any way. We can make sure there aren’t any other complicating problems, and may provide you with an antibiotic cream or drops to help clear the infection that causes styes (if that looks to be the issue).

We also recommend that you prevent styes by getting enough sleep, avoiding use of old cosmetics, making sure to clean your contacts well, and practicing good hand washing to keep from rubbing germs into your eyes when you touch your face.

Have questions about your vision, how to prevent eye damage, or need to talk through an issue? Please reach out to us at Utah Eye Centers! We can help you to examine your options. We look forward to meeting with you!