It looks like a boil or pimple and it’s super uncomfortable. We’re talking about styes. If you’ve ever had a stye in your eye, you know the discomfort and irritation they can cause. They usually go away on their own but they’re annoying every time. What exactly is a stye, anyway? What causes them? We’ve got all your questions answered in this article.
What is a stye?
A stye is a red, usually painful lump near the edge of your eyelid. Styes are often filled with pus, and can sometimes form on the inside of your eyelid. It’s caused by an infection of the oil glands in the eyelid. More often than not, the bacterium staphylococcus is responsible for these infections. Styes usually only last a couple of days and typically disappear on their own. It’s possible to have more than one stye at the same time.
If you have a stye, you can treat it with warm compresses. This should also help prevent it from coming back.
Signs & Symptoms
There aren’t a lot of symptoms associated with styes, but if you experience any of these, it’s probably a stye:
- A red lump on your eyelid
- Eyelid pain
- Swelling of the eyelid
- Excess tearing
If it’s not a stye, it could be a chalazion. A chalazion is another form of inflammation of the eyelid. It occurs when there’s a blockage of one of the oil glands near the eyelashes. A chalazion is not normally painful and is more prominent on the inside of the eyelid.
How to Prevent Styes
Your risk of getting a stye in your eye goes up if you do certain things. Therefore, you can lower your risk by:
- Not touching your eyes with unwashed hands
- Removing eye makeup before you go to sleep
- Cleaning your hands before inserting your contact lenses
- Disinfecting your contact lenses before use
- Throwing away old or expired cosmetics
- Not sharing your makeup with others
- Applying warm compresses
Also, if you have blepharitis – a chronic inflammation along the edge of the eyelid – or rosacea – a skin condition – you’re at a greater risk.
Hakim Cares About Your Eye Health
If your stye doesn’t improve or go away after 48 hours, you should seek medical attention. Likewise, if the redness or swelling spreads to other parts of your face, see a doctor. Hakim urges you to take care of your eye health. Read our other articles and check out our page about Eye Health so you know how to properly care for your eyes and get regular eye exams.
Visit your local Hakim Optical Store for your comprehensive eye exam.
Hakim Optical has provided Canadians with quality corrective lenses at a value that can’t be beat for over 55 years. Our knowledgeable staff and optometrists are here to help you find an eyewear solution tailored specifically to you.