What is a Sty?

Eyelid sty

What is a sty?

A sty is an infection of the eyelid. It is usually painful, red, swollen and is not typically related to any disease. It is usually not harmful to the eye or one’s vision if it is properly treated.

What is the cause of a Sty?

A sty is caused when the Meibomian glands (the glands on your eyelids, where the lashes meet the lid), become clogged or infected. The infection is associated with bacteria; (Staphylococcus aureus) commonly found on a person’s skin and is usually the reason why a sty forms in the first place. Anyone can get a sty at any age.

How do you treat a sty?

A Sty is commonly treated with warm compresses. Applying the warm compress on the stye for about 10 minutes, 3-4 times a day helps the sty rupture.

Home remedy: We recommend using a clean cloth and adding two tablespoons of uncooked rice to it. Place the cloth in the microwave for 20 seconds so it warms up. The cloth/rice method helps to maintain the heat longer than the traditional method of cloth/warm water. Continuing this treatment will generally improve the condition of a sty and within a few days the tenderness, redness and pain will subside. If there is no improvement, you should have the infection examined by an eye care specialist for further treatment.

Make sure to wash your hands often to avoid getting these painful bumps on the eyelid.

Dr. Sheila Tehrani, O.D.
Laser Eye Center

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