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GENERAL URGENT CARE

Sty or Stye (Hordeolum)

Your eyelids are lined with tear glands that produce oil to keep your eyes lubricated. Occasionally, these glands may start producing a thick, sticky substance instead of “natural oil,” which causes them to become blocked or clogged. 

Sometimes, this blockage causes inflammation and swelling that turns into a tender and red bump known as stye or hordeolum that presents itself right on the edge of your eyelid.

If you are suffering from a stye, see an online doctor immediately. At 24 Hour Docs, our team of certified doctors and ophthalmologists has seen hundreds of cases of stye, and we know how to diagnose and treat it effectively over our virtual platform.

What are the Most Common Stye Symptoms and Causes?

When a gland on the edge of your eyelid gets infected, it becomes a stye. If the stye occurs under or inside the eyelid, it is known as an internal hordeolum. This infection is usually caused by a germ or bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus (staph).

People who wear contact lenses or old/contaminated makeup are at an increased risk of getting a stye. If you suffer from other eye conditions such as an infected or inflamed eyelid, you are also more likely to get a stye. Not maintaining good eye hygiene can also lead to infection.

The most common symptoms include:

  •       Pain, redness, swelling, or tenderness in the eyelid
  •       Crusting or mucous discharge
  •       Droopy eyelid
  •       Watery eyes or tearing
  •       Sensitivity to light
  •       Feeling like there is something in your eye

Many of these symptoms are very similar to conjunctivitis (pink eye), so it’s important to see a doctor to get your eye diagnosed accurately. 

Can an Online Doctor Treat a Stye/hordeolum?

Yes. An online doctor will look at your eye and ask you about your symptoms to determine whether you have a stye or something more serious like eyelid cancer.

 At 24 Hour Docs, our team of certified doctors and ophthalmologists may ask you to upload pictures of your eyelid and may also ask you to shine a light on your eyelid during the virtual visit. 

In most cases, a doctor can diagnose a hordeolum/stye just by looking at it and no special physical tests are required.  

Do I Need to See a Doctor for a Stye?

If your stye symptoms include chills, fever, or muscle aches, you must see a doctor immediately. In some rare cases, a stye can be accompanied with blurred vision, and swelling that extends to the nose, forehead, or cheek which also requires immediate medical attention by a doctor.

 If your stye doesn’t go away even after a month (with or without at-home treatment), it’s time to contact a doctor.

How is a Hordeolum Treated?

A stye usually goes away on its own, especially with the help of some simple home remedies such as putting a wet, warm compress on your eyelid for 5-10 minutes, for 3-5 times a day. You should avoid wearing makeup until the infection heals and avoid touching the eye. 

Depending on your case, the doctor may prescribe an antibiotic ointment or cream to put on the affected area. If your stye persists, the doctor may refer you to an eye specialist or ophthalmologist. If you are feeling pain in your eyelid or you notice any swelling or redness around that area, see a doctor immediately. The sooner you’ll get it diagnosed and treated, the faster you’ll find relief.

If your stye doesn’t clear up after the antibiotic treatment, the online doctor may refer you to an ophthalmologist near you for surgery. During this simple surgical procedure, an eye specialist makes a small cut in the stye to drain the pus.

How Can I Prevent Styes?

Some people just get one stye and never get it again. On the other hand, some people get styes on a recurrent basis. If you fall into the latter category, here is what you can do to reduce your risk of getting another one:

Keep your eyelids warm: As we mentioned earlier, styes occur when the natural oils within the eye’s glands get thicker. Using a warm compress or even placing warm hands over your eyes can liquefy these oily secretions.

Keep your eyes clean: Wash your hands before touching your eyes. Don’t use old or someone else’s eye makeup (including brushes). Make sure to rinse your eyes with cold water every morning and every night before you go to bed. 

Stop using contact lenses: Contacts can be a breeding ground for bacteria associated with a stye. So, if you wear contacts, try going without them until your sty clears up.

See An Eye Doctor Right Now

At 24 Hour Docs, you can register and see a board-certified doctor to get your eyelid examined and treated today. We will ask you a series of questions to determine whether it’s a stye or something else. If it is a stye, our doctors can create a treatment plan for you and call in a prescription – all for $59.

For the fastest and easiest way to get a prescription antibiotic medication for your stye, call us at 877-244-6876 or fill out our contact form

Get Started Now!

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