No matter how much you try, it is impossible to keep your toddlers off infection. So, just a week before her second birthday, I saw redness on H’s right eye, which turned into a red stye within a couple of days.
For those wondering what is a stye, here’s what you need to know:
A stye is an pimple caused due to infection of an oil gland in eyes. The red puss filled lump can appear either the upper or lower eyelid, as well as on the inside or outside of the eyelid.
redness, tenderness and pain in the inected eye
Swelling in eye
discomfort during blinking
sensitivity to eyes
small yellowish bump filled with pus
There are many myths associated with stye. While a few believe that they happen due to heat, others say that they happen in a series of seven. But the fact is that a stye is a form of a common infection among toddlers as they rub dirty hands in their eyes.
“By itself, styes are not harmful, but they may cause a severe inflammatory reaction around the eye and if left untreated, there is a danger of spread of the infection. Styes start with the feeling of a foreign body in the eye, the child may complain that it feels as if they have something in the eye won’t go away. Younger children may rub their eyes continuously. As the
infection develops the lump may grow in size and the eye itself may turn pinkish or red and watery”, says Dr Anand Shroff, ophthalmologist at Shroff Eye Hospital, Mumbai.
Here are a few things that you can do to treat a stye quickly:
1. Apply warm compress three or four times a day for ten minutes, as soon as you see the first sign of the bump. This will not only help suppressing the stye but will also help drain out pus in the later stages.
2. Clean the infected eye gently everyday to avoid crusting and preventing the infection from spreading into the other eye
3. Avoid sharing towel and handkerchiefs with the infected child.
4. Visit the doctor in case the stye doesn’t drain out naturally in a week’s time. “Most styes do not require any specific treatment, other than lid hygiene and hot compresses. However, if it is very painful, eyes are swollen and red
then I may prescribe some analgesic syrup and antibiotic eyedrops or eye ointment”, says Dr Shroff adding, “You must see an eye specialist if your child has a stye which is associated with severe swelling, secretions and fever, or if the child gets repeated styes”.