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David K. Chow, MD, MPH, FACS -  - Ophthalmologist

David K. Chow, MD, MPH, FACS

Ophthalmologist located in Reston, VA

A stye, which is a pimple-like bump on or within your eyelid, can be very distressing because it’s both unsightly and uncomfortable. Fortunately, however, a stye can be a short-lived problem if you see experienced ophthalmologist David K. Chow, MD, PC, FACS, at his office in Reston, Virginia. Dr. Chow is both a medical doctor and an eye specialist, so he understands exactly what’s needed to eliminate your stye so you can feel better quickly. For expert help if you have a stye, schedule an appointment online or by phone today.

Stye Q & A

What is a stye?

A stye, medically known as a hordeolum, is a bump on or inside your eyelid. Styes are frustrating because they're often quite tender or uncomfortable in addition to detracting from your physical appearance. There are two kinds of styes, external and internal:

External hordeolum

External hordeola, by far the most common type of stye, originate at the corner of your lashes. Usually, this type of stye is triggered by an infection within a hair follicle. Often, external hordeola look like pimples.

Internal hordeolum

Internal hordeola are inside your eyelid, and they often cause a larger bump or bulge than external hordeola. This kind of stye is typically caused by an infection in the meibomian gland that produces oil in your eyelid.

A chalazion is sometimes mistaken for a stye because it’s a similar-looking bump on the eyelid. However, a chalazion is caused by meibomian gland blockage rather than infection. Also, a chalazion generally isn’t painful while a stye is.

Are styes contagious?

Styes can be contagious, but a few extra precautions can help you avoid spreading the infection to others. Be extra careful about washing your hands, touching your eye as little as possible, and not touching others if you’ve touched your eye recently. Also, never share bed linens, pillowcases, eye makeup, or anything else that may come in contact with your eyes.

How can I get rid of a stye?

See Dr. Chow for treatment so you can get rid of the stye as fast as possible. In the meantime, there are a few important things to know.

First, never try to pop a stye. Forcing a stye to rupture can cause severe pain and worsen the infection. You can apply warm compresses to help soothe your pain until you see Dr. Chow.

If your stye isn’t going away on its own, or if it grows seriously infected, Dr. Chow may prescribe antibiotic eyedrops or ointment. It’s quite rare to need surgery for a stye, but if you have a painful and persistent stye that doesn’t respond to other treatments, you may need an outpatient procedure in which the bump is drained.

Get rid of your stye safely and quickly with customized treatments at the office of David K. Chow, MD. Schedule your appointment online or by phone today.