Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does a stye ever go away?"
I have a stye on my left eye and want to know if it will go away or if I should see a doctor?
Styes are very common problems which occur when one of the glands at the edge of the eyelid becomes clogged. They can be very stubborn and take a while to clear up, from weeks to months. Most of the time, no specific medical treatment other than warm compresses are needed, which should be applied multiple times through out the day to help the stye come to a head and drain out. However, if you have had this stye for quite a while and it is not getting any better, it would be worth seeing your primary care doctor about it. Sometimes the stye can become infected or very inflamed, in which case antibiotics are occasionally needed to help clear things up. Very rarely, a stye will be resistant both to treatment with warm compresses or with antibiotics. In these cases, a referral to an ophthalmologist if often needed. There numbing medication will be applied to the stye, and a minor surgical procedure will be used to open up the stye and help it to drain out completely. Start by contacting your primary care doctor for advice, and they will help you decide if additional treatments are needed right now or not.
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