A month or so ago I remember saying in conversation that I’ve never had a stye, or pinkeye, or anything like that. Well, spoke too soon, big ol’ stye in my little eye. Thanks to Google, I now know more about styes than I did.
They are a blocked oil gland with bacteria growing. Similar to a pimple, but remarkably painful and inconvenient on an eyelid. Usually they will clear up on their own in a few days. One can help them along by putting a warm, wet cloth on them for up to 15 minutes at a time, to help them drain.
Keep your hands and eyes clean to prevent the bacteria from spreading.
In my case, using the air conditioner would have prevented this. How could that be, you ask? If I had kept the air on through the spring, as I normally do, my eyes wouldn’t have itched so dreadfully from allergies that I was constantly rubbing them with my grubby paws, creating conditions that encourage a stye.
So, clean hands, clean eyes, manage allergies, apply warm compresses.
None of the sources I read mentioned salt water. I have salt water on hand that I rinse my sinuses with every day to prevent sinus infections. 1/2 tsp salt to 1 cup boiled water. When the stye was especially bad I poured salt water into my cupped hand and put my eye into the hand. Blinked and squished to rinse the affected area. It seemed to help and didn’t seem to do any harm.
Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback versions.