When it comes to eye issues, it can be tempting to panic and rush to an emergency room or doctor. A sty is one eye condition that commonly causes alarm. A sty is a red bump that forms on the eye and eyelids when an oil gland or eyelash follicle becomes clogged, causing symptoms like puffy or watery eyes. They can be painful and for people that aren’t familiar with them, they may feel that they need immediate medical attention. But although there is nothing wrong with exercising caution, oftentimes a sty can be managed just fine with at-home care.
Keep reading to learn more about stys, how to treat them at home, and when you should go to the ER for a sty on the eye.
How to Treat a Sty at Home
Generally, a sty is a common and relatively harmless condition. Follow these tips for safely treating a sty at home:
Apply a warm compress
- This will help to ease inflammation and soothe any pain you may be experiencing. Do this for up to 15 minutes, 3-4 times a day.
Keep the affected area clean
- It is important to keep the area clean so that bacteria doesn’t fester in the area and potentially spread.
Avoid touching or rubbing your eye
- Doing this may aggravate the lesion and could potentially spread bacteria, so it’s best to employ a hands-off policy until the sty heals.
Avoid wearing eye makeup or contact lenses while the sty heals
- This can irritate and further clog any oil glands or eyelash follicles.
Do not try to pop the sty.
- Stys are not pimples. They should NEVER be popped unless your doctor decibels that it needs to be drained and treated by a medical professional. Trying to pop a sty on your own could lead to serious complications and make it take longer to heal.
If you notice that you have been getting stys more frequently and your doctor can’t narrow down any medical cause, it may be helpful to look at your hygiene habits to prevent these painful bumps in the future. Sleeping in eye makeup can cause clog follicles around your eye and make you more prone to stys. It is also important to replace frequently used eye makeup every 3-6 months to avoid bacteria growth that can cause a bacterial infection. If you wear contacts, keep your hands clean when handling them.
Can You Go Blind From a Sty?
A sty typically isn’t something that you should be concerned about, so the likelihood of one causing a serious complication like blindness is very slim. However, if your vision has become blurred, obstructed, or the sty has gotten so bad that it causes your eye to swell shut, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Can Urgent Care Treat a Sty?
Not all stys need to be seen by a doctor, but if you think that your sty requires medical attention, visiting an emergency center can give you answers and potentially pain relief. A doctor may prescribe you antibiotic ointments, drain the sty, or suggest surgery to have it removed if it is very bad or recurring.
Visit Village Emergency Centers Today
At Village Emergency Centers, we understand that an eye issue can be particularly alarming. While no one wants to make an unnecessary trip to the doctor, it’s better to be safe than sorry. We offer expert care at our locations across the Greater Houston area with little to no wait so your emergency can be dealt with as swiftly as possible. Your vision isn’t something you should risk, and with affordable care options and no surprise billing, there is no reason that you should wait if you feel that you need to see a doctor. If you are still wondering if you should go to the ER for a sty on the eye, contact us today or visit a location near you!