A sty is an acute inflammation of a gland of the eyelash follicle.
Very painful, red pimple-like swelling near the edge of the eyelid
Lasts 3-4 days
Does not affect the eye or the sight
The Staphylococcus bacterium is the culprit. This bacterium is often present in the nostrils and is easily spread to your eye with the rub of your hand. It is the same bacterium that is associated with boils and, as with boils, you may experience recurrent styes when you are run-down.
Recurrent styes have been associated with vitamin A deficiency
Support your immune system by using the herbs echinacea or garlic if you are run-down; add a vitamin B complex if you are under stress
An eye wash containing eyebright and goldenseal may also be of assistance to reduce the swelling
Hot compresses applied three times a day help to bring the sty to a head, and to soothe the pain.
Keep the eye area clean and always remove your make up before going to bed. Never share eye cosmetics with others.
Do not attempt to drain the sty yourself – see your healthcare professional if you believe your sty needs to be lanced.
In severe or persistent cases, your healthcare professional may prescribe antibiotic medication.
Consult your healthcare professional if:
The sty refuses to go after a few weeks, or if they are recurring frequently
The swelling interferes with your vision
There is pain inside the eye