Getting Rid of a Stye

by Nov 8, 2023

A stye, a small red bump on the eyelid, can be an unpleasant and bothersome condition, even though it is typically painless and non-tender. While some styes may resolve on their own without any treatment, many individuals seek ways to alleviate the discomfort and get rid of the stye more quickly. In this blog, we will explore various at-home treatments as well as potential prescription options for treating a stye.


At-Home Stye Treatments

There are several at-home methods that can be utilized to help resolve a stye. These methods are generally self-care practices and do not require a prescription:

  1. Warm Compresses: Applying a warm compress to the affected eyelid can help to increase blood circulation and promote healing. Use a clean and warm washcloth or a specially designed microwavable heat pad. Apply the warm compress for 10-15 minutes, several times a day.
  2. Eyelid Hygiene Wipes: Using pre-moistened eyelid hygiene wipes can help to gently clean the affected eyelid and reduce the risk of infection. Follow the instructions provided with the wipes and ensure they are safe for use around the eyes.
  3. Steam Baths or Showers: Exposing the affected eye to steam from a bath or shower can help to open up the blocked oil gland and promote drainage. Be cautious and avoid getting hot or steamy water directly in the eye.
  4. Over-the-counter Dry Eye Drops: Over-the-counter artificial tear drops or lubricating eye drops may help to relieve any dryness or irritation associated with the stye. These drops can be used as directed on the package.


Prescription Treatments

If the stye persists or worsens despite at-home treatments, it may be necessary to seek medical attention. A healthcare professional, such as an ophthalmologist or optometrist, may prescribe the following treatments:

  1. Antibiotics: If the stye is infected or at risk of infection, antibiotic eye drops or ointments may be prescribed. These medications aim to eliminate bacteria and prevent further complications.
  2. Steroids: In some cases, if there is significant inflammation or swelling, a healthcare professional may prescribe steroid eye drops to alleviate these symptoms. Steroids can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.
  3. Incision and Drainage: In certain situations where the stye does not resolve with conservative measures, an ophthalmologist may perform a minor surgical procedure to drain the stye. This is typically done under local anesthesia to relieve discomfort and encourage faster healing.

It is important to note that prescription treatments should only be undertaken under the guidance of a healthcare professional. They will assess the severity and specific circumstances of the stye and determine the most appropriate course of action.

A doctor can help determine what medication or treatment option is best in conjunction with any at-home therapy that is already being done or will be started.

Not all styes will respond the same way to treatment and a doctor can help make recommendations when there is difficulty getting rid of a stye with traditional at-home treatments.


Our eye doctors at Wilmington Family Eye Care in Wilmington, DE excel in the prescription of glasses, contact lenses and the diagnosis of a variety of eye diseases. Call our optometrists at 302-299-1286 or schedule an eye exam appointment online if you would like to learn more about how to get rid of a stye. Our eye doctors, Drs. Daniel Baruffi, Amy Quan, Patricia Jones, and Joseph Goldberg provide the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in Wilmington, Delaware and its surrounding areas.


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