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Stye in Kids: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

You may be concerned if you see a red bump or swelling appear on your child’s eyelid. There is a possibility that your child has a stye. Read on to learn more about styes, the causes of a stye in kids, stye treatment for kids, and how to know when to seek professional help.

What is a stye?

A stye is a common eye problem in children. It appears as swelling or a red bump on the eyelid and can cause your child's eye to look irritated. If a stye is not treated, it can become infected causing pain. If addressed early, styes are not serious and can be easily treated.

What are the symptoms of a stye?

A stye can make the feeling that something is stuck in the eye, and make a lot of tears in the eye." to "A stye can make it feel that something is in the eye and cause excessive tearing.

What causes a stye?

Our eyelids have tiny oil glands along the edges. The oil glands keep our eyes from drying out, help us see, and make sure that the surfaces of our eyes stay healthy. When an oil gland gets clogged or infected, a stye develops. Styes in children can be caused by kids touching their eyes with dirty hands. To prevent styes and help kids stay healthy overall, it is important that kids thoroughly wash their hands before touching their face or eyes.

How is a stye diagnosed?

To diagnose a stye, a healthcare professional will look at your child’s eye, ask about your child’s symptoms, and review your child’s medical history. Styes can often be diagnosed based on appearance, symptoms, and medical history, but if any tests are needed, the healthcare professional will provide the appropriate recommendations.

How is a stye treated in children?

When your child has a stye and needs to relieve the itchy and uncomfortable feeling, you can apply a warm, clean washcloth to the stye 3 to 4 times a day. It is important that you or your child do not touch or squeeze the stye. Sometimes styes will drain on their own. If this happens, gently clean your child’s eye with a warm, clean washcloth. Even though most styes do not require medical treatment, your eyecare provider may determine that a prescribed antibiotic is needed, especially if they determine there is an infection present.

When should you seek professional help?

If your child develops a stye, seek help from an eyecare profession to determine the proper treatment plan. This is especially important if:

  • Your child develops a fever
  • The area around the stye is red or warm
  • There is drainage from the stye
  • Your child has a hard time seeing from the eye that has a stye
  • Stye keeps coming back

How to Make an Appointment for an Eye Exam

Whether or not your child has a stye right now, it is important that you know how to find a great eye doctor for kids.

We are leaders in providing high-quality and compassionate dental, orthodontic, and vision services. Help your kids thrive with regular eye exams. Visit our Vision Services page to learn more about vision care for children, and book an appointment at a convenient location near you.


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