Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What can I do to prevent and treat a stye in my eye?"
I am a 23 year old female, approximately 155lbs and 5'8" tall. I am prone to getting styes in my eyes. I take precautions such as removing all of my makeup at night and washing my face and eyes very well each morning in the shower. I also use eye drops regularly to keep them moist. I do not know if there is a treatment for styes other than cleaning them very well, but it seems like after the stye goes away, another one shows up soon after. I have tried everything I can find in terms of cleansing products and nothing is working for me. I have no allergies to any medications and I am not currently taking any medicine. I am not subjected to dust or dirt regularly other than natural living conditions. I have not changed my diet or adjusted my style of living in the past couple of years. This problem started for me about a year ago. Since the first time I got a stye in my eye, I have been dealing with this situation. Sometimes it is only a week after one is healed, another comes along. The longest it has been, since the first instance, is 2 months before another stye showed up.
While everyone will get a stye every once in a while, so many recurrent styes makes me concerned that there might be something unique about your situation that needs to be corrected. While it is important not to get overly alarmed, it is important to follow up with the appropriate physician (either an ophthalmologist or an ear-nose-and throat surgeon aka otolaryngologist) shortly so as to make sure that there is not a serious cause of your obstructed tear gland. Styes are caused by obstruction of the tear glands or one of the small hair follicles from your eye lid, and you were right in mentioning your excellent facial hygiene, the absence of which can definitely make you more likely to get them. They are called hordeolums by doctors, and are usually treated with warm, moist compresses applied to the eye for a few minutes regularly throughout the day. In some cases they can become infected and require antibiotics, but that is usually not required. Again, your case might be the exception given the multiple recurrences. Please speak to a physician or surgeon soon for more personal direction.
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