Treating Eyelid Infections
There are several types of eyelid infections. Some are more common than the others and normally go away on their own. The others may require some treatment. Below are descriptions of three types of infection, starting with the most common.
A stye is a lump that can occur on either the inside or the outside of the eyelid. When it occurs on the inside it will, obviously, be less visible, but will still be just as painful. Often caused by an infected follicle, one can think of a stye much like a small outbreak of acne. It will almost always clear up without any treatment.
Before applying any type of ointment to a stye, it is a good idea to consult with your doctor to see if he thinks it is a good idea. If the stye does not clear up on its own within a week, or if begins to interfere with vision or becomes unbearably painful, you should see your doctor right away.
Another type of eyelid infection is called Chalazion. The eyelid has glands which produce oil. When these become swollen, it is known as Chalazion. While not technically an eyelid infection, many do think of it in that way.
Most Chalazia do not cause any type of problems for the patient, and will – like styes – clear up on their own. In rare cases, however, you may need to seek treatment. In these cases, the eyelid may become very swollen. This can interfere with vision and, sometimes, the entire eyelid will swell up. Even if the swelling is not such as to block your vision, vision can become blurred as the swelling presses against the eye.
Chalazia that reach this level are often quite painful. There is a way that you can treat the symptoms at home. By using a compress soaked in warm water a few times a day, you may be able to reduce the swelling and bring some relief.
If it becomes infected, you will likely be prescribed an ointment to get rid of the eyelid infection. This cream will be prescribed by your doctor. You should not use over the counter creams to treat eyelid infections unless under the supervision of your doctor.
Another treatment may include steroid shots. These would be used not to treat infection, but to help and reduce any swelling.
There are two types of blepharitis (swelling of the eyelids). One is staph blepharitis and the other is seborrheic blepharitis. One quick way to tell the difference is that staph is characterized by crusty eyelids while seborrheic by redness and flaking. Sometimes, both types appear together.
While there are some home remedies, it is best not to try any of them until after you have talked to your doctor.
Your eyes are too important to take chances with their care. While some eyelid infections are less serious than others, it is difficult to know the difference unless you are a doctor.
As is the case with many types of ailments, it is far better to be safe than sorry, so visit your doctor if you have any symptoms of eyelid infections.