Make that sty go away

A sty in the eye is not a serious condition and will hardly ever threaten your vision. But it can be painful with a reddened swelling that causes much anxiety.

A sty is a localised infection in the glands within the eyelid. It can occur externally and manifest as a tender red nodule present below the lid margin or internally, in which case there may not be a visible nodule.
Sties drain on their own as the infection settles spontaneously. The following tips may help to reduce discomfort and avoid complications.
Never try to sqeeze out or drain the sty yourself. It may lead to various complications.

Use a clean cloth soaked in warm water and wrung out as a compress.
Keep this compress for 10 to 15 minutes over the closed eye, three to four times a day.

Remember to use a new cloth each time.

Remember to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your eyes.

Never use various medications, eye drops or other remedies without advice from your doctor.

Sties are not contagious, but they can recur.

If the sty does not improve with the compress in 3-4 days or you feel the whole eyelid getting swollen, any eye pain or if the sty appears to be getting larger and spreading over the eyelid, see a doctor.

The doctor may prescribe a suitable antibiotic as an eye drop or to be taken orally if necessary. Occasionally the sty may need to be drained but never attempt this on your own.

-Melanie Amarasooriya

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