Eye doctors often receive calls from panicked patients when they notice a red, swollen growth on their eyelid that somewhat resembles a pimple. These spots, known as styes, are common, and although they can be uncomfortable, the infection won’t last long. Here are a few facts you should know about styes.
What Your Eye Doctor Wants You to Know About Styes
1. Styes Are Caused by Bacteria
A stye is caused by staphylococcal bacteria, which are frequently found in the nose and can easily transfer to the eye if you rub your nose and then rub your eyes without washing in-between. The good news is that styes do not typically cause any long-term vision problems.
2. These Growths Are Contagious
The bacteria that cause styes are contagious. To protect those around you, avoid touching your eyes if you have a stye, and wash your hands frequently. You should also refrain from sharing face towels, pillowcases, or sheets until the issue clears up.
3. Styes Clear Up on Their Own
The majority of styes, while uncomfortable, do tend to go away on their own. It may be tempting to “pop” a stye, but this could cause additional problems or bacteria to get into your eye. Instead, apply warm compresses to your eye for 10 minutes three to four times a day to soothe symptoms, and the stye will rupture and improve naturally.
4. Call Your Eye Doctor if Issues Persist
If you’re experiencing a particularly painful stye that’s blurring your vision and hasn’t cleared up after two to three days, call your eye doctor and schedule an exam. Having a professional evaluate the growth and check your vision is recommended to ensure there’s no damage or underlying issue that should be addressed. Your eye doctor can also prescribe an antibiotic ointment, so the stye goes away faster.
If you’re looking for a full-service eye doctor that performs exams, treats styes, and fits patients with the perfect glasses and contacts, Northern Lights Eye Care in Anchorage, AK, is your one-stop shop for comprehensive vision care for the entire family. Call (907) 276-3937 today to schedule an appointment. You can also visit their website to learn more about the dedicated team’s 14 years of experience serving the eye health needs of the local community.