A sty is a small boil or bacterial infection in a tiny gland of the eyelid.. If the oil-producing glands on the upper or lower rim of the eyelid become infected, they become swollen and painful. A sty is tiny at first, but it can blossom into a bright red, painful sore.
Eventually, a “baby” sty will come to a head and appear yellow, because it accumulates pus. Generally, the tip will face outward, and the sty will break open and drain on its own.
You can relieve the discomfort of a sty by following these steps:
- Apply warm, (not hot), wet compresses to the affected area three or four times a day for 5 to 10 minutes at a time.
- Avoid situations that expose your eyes to excessive dust or dirt.
- Don’t poke or squeeze the infected area, no matter how tempted you may be to pop the sty. Most sties respond well to home care and don’t require further treatment.
Questions to Ask
Is it hard for you to see?
Do you have redness and swelling that hasn’t drained within a day or two?
Do you have a number of sties that appeared at the same time or get one right after another?
Healthy Self: The Guide to Self-Care and Wise Consumerism
© American Institute for Preventive Medicine