Archived Q&A and Reviews

Treatment for 2-year-old's recurrent styes

May 2004

My 2-year-old has been experiencing recurrent styes since the beginning of the year...not the kind of small red bumps that one usually thinks of, but quite large, inflamed lumps that have almost swollen her eye shut...the kind that prompt strangers everywhere to say, ''What happened to her eye????!!!'' with great alarm. We've gone from topical antibiotics to oral antibiotics to an opthamology referral (appt. next week). Does anyone have any experience with this? The little info I can find online or in medical databases suggests that this is a problem that may well continue. Surgical removal has been suggested by our pediatrician as one option for the current stye but I noticed tonight that another one already seems to be forming - and from what I've read, surgery does nothing for reoccurrence & carries its own obvious risks. So I'm trying to find out about any possible alternatives before we go to our appt. next week. A few articles have reported on the use of injectable steroids. I've also read online that some parents have tried chiropractic care with apparent success (e.g., to drain the fluids). Unfortunately,according to her doc & everything I've read, very little in the way of prevention is possible (We are already trying warm compresses & washing her eyelids diligently). Any specific, relevant advice re: treatment would be appreciated. Thank you! L.

Acidophilus!!! My childhood's pediatrecian was originally from Bulgaria. I too had recurring styes and he told my mom that Bulgarian kids don't get stye because they eat a lot of Acidophilus Bulgaricus which is the live culture in most yogurts. So... give your child plenty (and I mean PLENTY) of yogurt with Acidophilus Bulgaricus, and, hopefully, like it happened with me, the stye will go away. I don't know if just Acidophilus in the powder form would do the job as well, but you might want to try. Good luck! Naama

One thing you could try: Flax seed oil. I'm not sure what the dosage would be for a small child, though, so you'd have to do some research. A stye is basically like a pimple--the sebacious glands at the lid margin get plugged up. The warm compresses and lid scrubs try to keep them from plugging. Flax seed oil has been shown to make the secretions not so ''sludgy'' and therefore make it less likely to plug. I think some people have also tried fish oils with some success (eat--not rub over the eye). eye doc

Daughter is having one sty after another

Nov 2003

Has any of your children experienced any sty eye problems? My daughter has been having problems with sty, a new one appears as soon as a previous one disappears. This problem has been going on for the last three months or so. Her Doctor tells me that I shouldn't worry, she will eventually grow out of them. Is this normal for some kids? Should I get a second opinion? What has worked for you? Thank you Veronica

it could be normal, or it might not. get a 2nd opinion. a recurrent stye could be cancerous. see a dermatologist or ophthalmogist. to diagnose this for sure, a biopsy will be necessary. eye doc

I had an ongoing problem with sties until an ophthalmologist suggested that I wash the edge of my eyelids (along the eyelashes) with a Q-tip and some watered-down baby shampoo (no more tears). Basically, I had some buildup along the lashes (I couldn't really see it) and it was clogging the pores, resulting in some really nice sties. The washing process doesn't hurt and after a few months of due diligence, I haven't had any sties in years. Oh - a hot compress works wonders for getting rid of any extant sties. Catie

I remember having stys as a kid. I am not sure how regurlarly I had them, but I know they stopped occuring before I was in high school. I have only had one as an adult. I mentioned it at an eye appointment and the dr told me that stys are a form of staph infection and that the best way to prevent them is to be sure to wash your eyes with soap (while closed of course) when you wash your face. annon.

People would come to my grandmother for sty treatment. You know what her secret was? Rub the sty with 24K solid gold. It's worth a try and won't hurt!