Friday Health With Nyasha: Sty (Shohwera)


 *STY* (Shohwera)


A sty is a red, painful lump near the edge of your eyelid that may look like a boil or a pimple. 

Sties are often filled with pus. 

A sty usually forms on the outside of your eyelid, but sometimes a sty can form on the inner part of your eyelid. 

In most cases, a sty will begin to disappear on its own in a few days. In the meantime, you may be able to relieve the pain or discomfort of a sty by applying a warm washcloth to your eyelid.

*Signs and symptoms of a sty include*:


 - A red lump on your eyelid that is similar to a boil or a pimple

     - Eyelid pain

     - Eyelid swelling

     - Tearing

     - Crusting around the eyelids

*Most sties are harmless to your eye and won't affect your ability to see clearly. Try self-care measures first, such as applying a warm washcloth to your closed eyelid for 10 to 15 minutes several times a day.*


A sty can be caused by: 


 - Poor hygiene. A sty is usually caused by bacteria, especially the bacterium staphylococcus.

Touching your eyes with unwashed hands can transfer bacteria to your eyelids.

     - Eyelid inflammation. Chronic inflammation along the edge of the eyelid caused by a condition called blepharitis can cause a sty to form.

*Risk factors* 

You risk exposing your eyelids to infection if you: 

     - Change your contact lenses without thoroughly washing your hands first

     - Fail to disinfect your contact lenses before putting them in

     - Leave eye makeup on overnight

     - Use old or expired cosmetics

*Treatments and drugs*

 In most cases, a sty doesn't require specific treatment. 

A sty typically goes away on its own. 

For a sty that persists, your doctor may recommend treatments, such as: 

     - Antibiotics. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotic eyedrops or a topical antibiotic cream to apply to your eyelid. If your eyelid infection persists or spreads beyond your eyelid, your doctor may recommend antibiotics in tablet or pill form.

     - Surgery to relieve pressure. To treat a pus-filled sty that won't rupture or burst on its own, your doctor or ophthalmologist may choose to lance and drain the sty to relieve pain and pressure.

*Lifestyle and home remedies*

 Until your sty goes away on its own, try to: 

     - Leave the sty alone. Don't try to pop the sty or squeeze the pus from a sty. Doing so can cause the infection to spread.

     - Place a warm washcloth over your closed eyes. To relieve pain, run warm water over a clean washcloth. Wring out the washcloth and place it over your closed eye. Re-wet the washcloth when it loses heat. Continue this for 10 or 15 minutes. Repeating this several times each day may encourage the sty to drain on its own.

     - Keep your eye clean. Don't wear eye makeup until the sty has healed.

*Nyasha Kawanzaruwa is a nurse at Matizha Clinic in Gutu, Masvingo Province.


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