How can I treat recurring styes on my eye?
The fact that you say “on” my eye indicates that this is an external stye, or sty, which is also called a hordeolum. Internal hordeola are not typically referred to as styes. They occur in deeper glands on the inside of the eyelid. They tend to be more severe and more painful than styes and generally need to be treated by a physician.
Styes are infections of the oil-producing sebaceous glands at the edges of the eyelids. Staphyloccus bacteria (staph) are usually the source of the infection. A stye often starts out as simply a red tender area on the eyelid’s margin. It gradually turns into a swollen pimple-like bump that fills with pus and often has a little yellow spot at the head. Most styes rupture by themselves and then drain. The whole process takes only a few days.
External hordeola don’t necessarily require a doctor’s treatment and they are not harmful to your eyesight. Home care is pretty simple. Warm compresses, applied several times a day for 10 to 15 minutes, will help soothe the eye and speed up the healing process. Some doctors prescribe an ophthalmic antibiotic ointment. These don’t seem to aid in healing, but may help prevent the staph from spreading in the eyes.
There are hygienic measures you can take which should prevent recurrence. But if you take these steps and it doesn’t help, then it is definitely time to see a doctor. You may have something else going on that needs medical attention.
Wash the eyelids every day with a solution of baby shampoo and water. Gently and carefully apply the solution with a cotton swab. Keep the eye you are cleaning closed. Rinse, pat dry with a tissue and then wash your hands.
Staphylococci are pretty much everywhere. Wash your hands frequently and try to avoid touching or rubbing your eyes. Staph are often found in the nose, so be cautious about touching your nose and then your eyes. That takes extra effort when you are suffering from a cold or allergies.
When you have a stye and it bursts, wash the eye thoroughly and then do the same with your hands. If you use a towel or washcloth in the process, launder them.
Apply the warm compresses at the very first sign of redness. This may halt the stye’s development cycle.
If you wear eye makeup, throw out the old stuff periodically. Bacteria can breed in certain types of makeup. Never share or use someone else’s makeup.