Highlands Ranch Eye Doctor Discusses Styes: Causes and Cures

The good news is that if you suspect a stye is the reason for your eye discomfort, your Highlands Ranch eye doctors can help. Styes are really just a blemish in a very visible spot and often heal themselves without treatment in a couple of days, but it’s still good to learn about what causes them, the different types and the best ways to treat them if necessary.

What Causes Styes?
Usually, the bacteria that live on the surface of our eyelids don’t cause any problems, but when an oil duct gets blocked the bacteria can lead to an infection on the upper or lower eyelid called a stye. Styes are usually painful and red, while a chalazion—often thought to be a stye—is a painless bump that results from a blocked gland. No infection is present if you have a chalazion.  If you have experienced a stye, you’re not alone.  Most people experience a stye several times during their lifetimes.

External and Internal
Styes can form on the outside of your eyelid typically near an eyelash. It grows into a painful, red bump and causes discomfort until it pops and heals. A stye that forms on the underside of the lid is known as an internal style. It’s also painful and red, but may not disappear completely once the infection has passed, so an eye care professional might need to open the cyst and drain it.

For either stye type, you should schedule an appointment with your Highlands Ranch eye doctor if:

  • You experience pain in the eye
  • There is still swelling after a few weeks
  • The swelling on your lid interferes with your vision
  • You have experienced recurrent styes


Prevention and Care
If you’re susceptible to styes, it pays to be more diligent with your eyelid hygiene. A simple solution of baby shampoo and warm water applied with a cotton ball to your eyelid at the base of your eyelashes can help remove germs and dead skin cells. If your eyelid is tender, it might be a sign of an infection. Apply warm compresses at the first sign of tenderness to move the infection along and to prevent further blockage of other lid glands.

How to Use This Information
Although styes are not typically a major cause for concern, they can be uncomfortable and unsightly. If your eyesight is impacted or your stye lasts longer than a couple of weeks, please contact your Highlands Ranch eye doctor to schedule an appointment. Please call 303-991-9600 or contact us online today!

How many times have you suffered from a stye?