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Tips for eyelid care – daily hygiene prevents styes

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“Have you been in a pigsty to get a stye?” Of course not! “Goong Ying,” better known as stye or hordeolum in English, is an inflammation of the eyelid caused by clogged meibomian glands. Normally, the glands release lipids; the problem arises when the lipids get stuck and collect in the glands. If a person uses unclean hands near the eye area, it may lead to infection and cause a stye.

The symptoms usually appear as a red swollen eyelid. If the area is not too large, putting warm compresses on it may help it go away without any medication. Apply warm compresses every two to three hours, five to six times per day or as frequently as you can for 10 minutes each time. This will alleviate the symptoms.

If the swollen area is large and very inflamed, antibiotics are necessary. If a stye comes back often, such as every week or month, antibiotics can decrease the inflammation and eye drops or ointments may also be necessary. If there is pus or if the swollen area is too large and will not get better with medication, the doctor may recommend that the pus be surgically removed.

Styes can affect anyone at any age, even if they have not visited a pigsty, or as Thai people believed, that they have been a Peeping Tom. If we take good care of our eyelids, the risk of developing a stye is much lower. Ladies, especially, who put makeup on regularly, should make sure that the eye area is cleaned well. Let’s see how it’s done:

Tips to Care of the Eyelids

  • Compress the eyelids with warm gel compresses, clean towels, or with a boiled egg (as traditional Thai people do). Make sure that the egg is wrapped in a clean towel; apply compress daily for five minutes.
  • Dip cotton balls in boiled water, diluted with baby soap (one part soap to 20 parts water), or saline (same as nasal cleansing solution), and wipe the eyelids clean of dirt and debris.
  • Wash your hands often; try not to rub your eyes to prevent infection and consult an ophthalmologist if you notice any symptoms.
  • And that is all we need to do to keep a stye out of the eye!

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Paneeya Tapaneeyangkul, M.D. Summary: Ophthalmology Ophthalmology, Eye - Glaucoma