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Eye and Ear Problems


Home Treatment - When to Call a Health Professional

A sty is a noncontagious infection of the eyelash follicle. It looks like a small, red bump, much like a pimple, either in the eyelid or on the edge of the lid. It comes to a head and breaks open after a few days.

Styes are very common and are not a serious problem. Most will go away on their own with Home Treatment and don't require removal.

Home Treatment

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  • Do not rub the eye, and do not squeeze the sty.

  • Apply warm, moist compresses for 10 minutes, 5 to 6 times a day, until the sty comes to a head and drains.

When to Call a Health Professional

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  • If the sty interferes with your vision.

  • If the sty gets worse despite Home Treatment.

  • If the redness centred on the sty spreads to involve the entire eyelid.

    Floaters and Flashes

    Floaters are spots, specks, and lines that "float" across your field of vision. They are caused by stray cells or strands of tissue that float in the vitreous humor, the gel-like substance that fills the eyeball. Floaters can be annoying but are not usually serious. However, if you see floaters or flashes of light for the first time, call your eye doctor or family doctor. If you have had floaters for some time, or if you have occasional flashes, mention it at your next routine eye exam.

Blood in the Eye

Sometimes blood vessels in the whites of the eyes break and cause a red spot or speck. This is called a subconjunctival hemorrhage. The blood may look alarming, especially if the spot is large, but it is usually not a cause for concern. The red spot will go away in 2 to 3 weeks.

However, if your eye is bloody and painful; if there is blood in the coloured part of the eye; or if the bleeding followed a blow to the eye, call a health professional immediately. Also call if bleeding in the eye occurs often; occurs after you begin taking blood thinners (anticoagulants); or covers more than of the white of the eye.


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