While painful and unsightly, most styes heal within a few days on their own or with simple treatment.
Typical treatment for a sty consists of applying warm compresses to the affected eye for 10 to 15 minutes four times daily for several days. This not only relieves pain and inflammation but also helps the sty ripen faster. Be sure to close your eye while you apply the compresses. When the sty comes to a head, continue applying warm compresses to relieve pressure and promote rupture. Do not squeeze the sty. Let it burst on its own. More severe styes may require topical and occasionally oral antibiotics.
If styes recur, your doctor may prescribe a local antibiotic ointment or an oral antibiotic. Take the antibiotic as directed.
Minor surgery may be needed to completely drain a stye. After applying a local anesthetic, your ophthalmologist opens the sty and removes the contents. The eyelid usually heals quickly.
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