A stye is a red lump that looks like a pimple or a boil that is often filled with pus. It can be found externally; near the edge of the eyelid or internally; beneath the eyelid.
Styes are usually caused by an infection in the oil glands of your eye. It can suddenly develop due to stress or hormonal changes, a blockage caused by eye makeup, or by rubbing your eyes with unclean hands.
In most cases, the stye will begin to disappear on its own after a few days. You may apply a warm washcloth as a compress to the eyelid to relieve discomfort. If there is any discharge, you should clean it away with mild soapy water.
If there is no visible improvement after 48 hours, you may require medical treatment.
As most styes disappear on their own after a few days, you should keep the area around your eye clean and apply a warm washcloth as a compress to relieve discomfort. Avoid wearing makeup and stop using contact lenses until it is healed.
During this time, avoid rubbing or touching the infected area. In addition, do not attempt to pop the stye as this can spread the bacteria to other parts of your face and cause further infection.
If the swelling persists after 2 days, make an appointment to see an eye specialist.
Depending on the severity of your condition, the following medical treatments may be recommended:
- Apply antibiotic eyedrops
- Apply antibiotic cream to the infected area
- Inject steroids into the stye to reduce the swelling
- Make a small incision to drain and remove the stye (under local anesthesia)
- Take oral antibiotics if the infection has spread to around the eye or after the incision is made to drain the stye
If you are prescribed antibiotics, the stye will usually clear up within a week. If you undergo surgery to remove the stye, the recovery period ranges from 7 to 10 days. During this time, take the prescribed medication and avoid swimming and other physical activities.
To make an appointment regarding your stye condition, please contact us here.
Dry eye is a condition that occurs when you do not have adequate tears to provide sufficient lubrication for your eyes. There are many causes behind the condition but the common ones include air-conditioning, direct air blowing from a fan, and extended time spent reading or looking at the computer monitor.
You may also experience dry eye as a result of prolonged contact lens use. In addition, if you have undergone eye surgery, you may experience temporary dry eye for a period after the surgery.
When you get older, especially after 50 years of age, you may find a greater incidence of dry eye. This is because the glands that produce tears degenerate or become blocked more easily.
There are also medical conditions that may result in dry eye. These include inflammation of the eye glands, hormonal changes, eye allergies, and specific conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders, scleroderma, sarcoidosis, and Vitamin A deficiency.
In addition, you may also experience dry eye if you take certain medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, hormone replacement therapy, and drugs for high blood pressure, birth control and Parkinson’s disease.
If you are experiencing prolonged symptoms of dry eye, you may require medical treatment.
Dry Eye Treatment
Mild cases of dry eye can be easily treated with over-the-counter lubricating eyedrops. Look for preservative-free ones as they have fewer additives which may irritate the eye. Lubricating eyedrops supplement your natural tears and can be used as often as needed.
Moderate cases of dry eye may require prescription eyedrops administered by your eye specialist. These eyedrops target inflammation and may contain antibiotics or steroids.
Serious or chronic cases of dry eye may require the use of special contact lenses, plugs or a procedure being performed:
- Scleral or bandage contact lenses – these contacts are designed specifically to protect the surface of your eye and keep the moisture in.
- Punctal plugs – made of silicone, these plugs partially or completely seal your tear ducts. They keep your tears in as they are not allowed to drain out. These plugs are removable.
- LipiFlow thermal pulsation – a heat treatment that clears blocked oil glands. The procedure involves placing a large contact lens-like device over and under your eyelids. Heat is then applied for a duration of about 12 minutes.
To make an appointment regarding your dry eye condition, please contact us here.
A red eye is an eye that looks red or bloodshot. This is the result of the tiny blood vessels in the eye getting inflamed as a reaction to something such as dust, cigarette smoke, or a physical object coming into contact with and irritating the eye.
Common among contact lens wearers is microbial keratitis, an infection on the cornea. This is likely caused by the improper use, handling, and storage of contact lenses. It is a serious type of infection that causes persistent redness and if left untreated, may affect vision.
If the redness is due to an allergy or an infection, the condition is known as conjunctivitis or pink eye. The inflammation covers the conjunctiva (the thin membrane that covers the front of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelids) and is contagious.
There are other causes of red eye such as blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids), subconjunctival hemorrhage (bursting of a blood vessel in the eye), iritis/anterior uveitis (inflammation of the iris), and scleritis (inflammation of the sclera, the white tissue of the eyeball).
Most red eye conditions, however, are benign; they do not require special medical treatment. Subconjunctival hemorrhage for example, may look serious, but requires no treatment as the blood vessels repair themselves within a couple of weeks. You can use over-the-counter eyedrops or eye solutions if the redness is due to common causes such as dust entering the eye.
However, if the redness persists, you can seek medical treatment.
Red Eye Treatment
If your red eye is the result of common causes such as dust and smoke, you can use a cold compress or lubricating eyedrops:
- Cold compress – apply a washcloth that has been dipped in a bowl of ice water and wrung, over your closed eyes for between 5 and 10 minutes. Repeat several times a day until the redness goes away.
- Lubricating eyedrops – apply this readily available over-the counter eyedrops as per the instructions on the box. Use them as needed until the redness dissipates.
If you are using contact lenses, stop using them until the redness goes away. If the condition persists, seek medical treatment timely.
If your red eye is the result of a suspected allergy, infection or underlying medical condition, it is recommended that you see an eye specialist.
After consulting with the eye specialist, you may be prescribed one of the following, depending on your condition and severity:
- Antibiotic eyedrops
- Allergy shots (immunotherapy)
- Decongestant and/or antihistamine eyedrops
- Address the underlying medical condition causing the red eye, e.g., shingles, glaucoma
- Surgery, e.g., conjunctivoplasty to repair a defect in the conjunctiva
If your red eye persists for more than 2 days, make an appointment with our eye specialist here.