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First Aid & Emergencies

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Stye Treatment

1. Treat Symptoms

  • Most styes go away on their own in about a week.
  • Apply a warm compress for 5 to 10 minutes several times a day. Use a clean washcloth or towel soaked in warm water. Keep eyes closed.

2. Protect Against Infection

  • Keep the area clean and avoid touching or rubbing the eyes.
  • Don't squeeze the sty.
  • Don't use eye make-up or wear contact lenses.

3. Follow Up

In most cases, styes don't require medical care. Call your health care provider if:

  • The stye doesn't heal in a week or 10 days.
  • The stye becomes more painful or swollen after several days of home treatment.
  • The person also has fever or chills.
  • The person develops vision problems.
  • The person has recurring styes.
  • The person has an abnormal immune system (for example, people with diabetes or HIV, patients receiving treatment for cancer, organ transplant recipients)

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on November 19, 2013

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