Don’t be confused if you have seen this eye infection called “sties” or just “sty.” It’s all the same thing. Styes are an infection around the eye caused by a type of staph bacteria, staphylococcus aureus. This bacterium is often found in the nose and can be transferred to the eye by simple touch.
The sty you experience may be the result of that bacterial infection and a clogged skin pore or infected hair follicle. If there is no bacterial infection but you still have an annoying sty you may be suffering inflammation in the oil glands of the skin. This type of sty can be uncomfortable but is often not quite as painful as the infected type. In extreme cases, this latter type may have to be removed by a doctor.
Don’t Get a Sty
Of course, the best way to “get rid of styes” is to prevent them in the first place. If you keep your hands clean and don’t introduce bacteria into your eyes your chances of getting an infection will be reduced or eliminated. Take care when touching your face and if your hands have been around your nose, wash them as soon as you think about it.
If a sty begins to show itself, start taking some home-treatment steps immediately. It’s important to get a soft cloth, moisten it with warm water and place it gently on the affected area. Hot tap water will do just fine. This helps stimulate circulation and should help the body drain the sty naturally. This is much better than trying to puncture the surface of the sty and drain it physically. This may help spread the infection!
StyesYour next step should be toward the pharmacy or grocery store. Some over-the-counter ointments have enough medication in them to help get rid of the sty bacteria. Find a reliable cream or ointment that has antibiotic properties and carefully put some on the affected area. This may save you the expense of a doctor’s visit when combined with improved hygiene.
If the sty persists for several days, you may want to visit your doctor and get some prescription medication that will help get rid of styes. In some cases, the doctor may prescribe eye drops or suggest a particular brand of over-the-counter eye drop. The doctor may even decide to lance or pop the sty and then treat it with ointment. This can be a good option if you allow the doctor or a nurse to do it. As mentioned earlier, it’s not a good idea to puncture the sty at home. The doctor will be able to prevent the spread of infection with careful steps after lancing the sty.
One of the traditional home remedies for getting rid of styes is putting some cold milk on the sty with an eye dropper. While there may be some question about the success of this method and the science behind it, you could try it. Be sure to clean the eye thoroughly after this, however. Don’t let the milk dry in and around the eye!