Very large styes and those that do not go away on their own may need medical treatment. A doctor may recommend one of the following options:
Antibiotics can kill the bacteria that cause a stye to grow. This prevents the stye from spreading and eases the pain.
It is important to use the right antibiotic for the specific bacterium infecting the eye, so a person should not reuse old antibiotics. In most cases, a doctor will recommend antibiotics in the form of eye drops or eye cream.
In rare cases, a stye can cause a systemic infection that spreads to other areas of the body. People with weak immune systems are more vulnerable to such infections.
When this type of infection occurs, a person may need oral or intravenous antibiotics.
Steroids can help the body heal itself more quickly. A doctor may inject a steroid into the stye to promote healing and reduce pain.
Steroids in the form of topical creams and eye drops may also help, but a person should talk to a doctor before trying these remedies.
When a stye does not go away or turns into a chalazion, a doctor may recommend surgery. A chalazion is similar in appearance to a stye, but it results from a blocked oil gland rather than an infected oil gland.
A simple procedure, which a person usually undergoes under local anesthetic, can drain the stye. Draining it may also prevent the stye from coming back.
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