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Sty (cont.)

What Are Stye Treatments?

There are a variety of treatments for stye. These include self-care measures, pain medication, antibiotics, and surgery.

Are There Home Remedies for a Stye?

Most styes go away on their own in five to seven days.

  • Apply warm compresses four to six times a day for about 15 minutes at a time to help the drainage. Keep the eyes closed when applying the warm compresses.
  • Gently scrub the eyelid with tap water or with a mild, nonirritating soap, or shampoo (such as baby shampoo). This may help with drainage. Close the eyes as you scrub so you do not injure your eyes.
  • Do not squeeze or puncture the stye. A more serious infection may occur as a result.
  • Discontinue the use of eye makeup as well as eye lotions and creams because they may be contaminated with the bacteria from the infection.
  • Discontinue wearing contact lenses while a stye is present because the infection may cause an infection to spread to the cornea with the continued use of contact lenses.

What Is the Medical Treatment for a Stye?

Care is mainly provided to help relieve symptoms and to hasten recovery.

  • Warm compresses are usually recommended.
  • Pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), may be given or recommended.
  • Antibiotics may be necessary.
    • Topical antibiotics in the form of eyedrops or eye ointment may be prescribed by an ophthalmologist.
    • Occasionally, oral antibiotics are given to people either with styes that do not go away or with multiple styes as well as to those who have styes in addition to other conditions, such as blepharitis or rosacea.
    • People who have rosacea along with a stye may require treatment of their cheeks with an antibiotic cream, an oral antibiotic, or both.
    • Oral or IV antibiotics are usually given if the infection has spread.
  • An ophthalmologist may remove the pus from a large or painful stye by making a small incision in the inside of the lid and then draining the pus.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/10/2016

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Hordeolum and Stye »

A hordeolum (ie, stye) is a localized infection or inflammation of the eyelid margin involving hair follicles of the eyelashes (ie, external hordeolum) or meibomian glands (ie, internal hordeolum).

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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