HOME CARE, PRECAUTIONS AND TREATMENT OF STYES IN CHILDREN

Home care
Place cotton balls or a washcloth soaked in warm water on the eyelids for ten to 20 minutes several times a day. Give aspirin or paracetamol to reduce pain. Apply antibiotic eye drops (available by prescription) several times a day to prevent the formation of additional styes. Do not treat cysts unless they are infected; then, treat them in the same way you would a stye.

Precautions
• The whites of the eyes do not become red as a result of a stye.
• One large or several small recurring styes, or a stye that accompanies such symptoms as fever, headache, loss of appetite, or lethargy, should be seen by a doctor.
• Styes can be contagious. Keep the infected child's towel and washcloth separate from those used by other family members.

Medical treatment
Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat one large or several small recurring styes. It is rarely necessary to open and drain a stye. The doctor may take a culture of the nose and throat secretions to find out where the bacteria are located. Your doctor may surgically remove an infected cyst. However, cysts often disappear spontaneously in months or years. Your doctor will treat an infected cyst in the same way as a stye.

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