One bright sunny day, about three months ago, I woke up with a stye in my eye. A weepy, creepy, swollen, sullen stye (Okay, the alliteration may be getting too much here, but I'm having fun! :-)) had invaded my upper lid. I tried warm compresses. I tried cotton balls dipped in pre-boiled water. I tried analyzing it, picking it, and leaving it alone. I went to one doctor and tried one medicated cream. I went to another doctor and tried a second medicated cream. I went to an eye doctor who told me it would go away on it's own. I tried oral antibiotics. I took a compassionate woman's interesting advice and rubbed a gold ring on the stye. It would not go away.
That was a long time ago. Today, the stye and I have made peace with each other. We are here for the long haul. I have prayed for the stye to leave. I have visualized myself stye-free. I have complained and kvetched and raged. Nothing seems to be working.
So yesterday I decided to give my stye one last shot. I posted to our community's email list, asking for a recommendation on an eye doctor who could help banish my stye. The answers I received were quite eye-opening (sorry!). I will print three of them, anonymously, here:
1. "My daughter had a chronic stye when she was little and the cause was allergies. When the allergies were treated, the stye went away. Initially we treated the stye by taking her diet down to a very basic one and then slowly adding foods into it again. There are many ways that an allergy can manifest itself. Our daughter had the stye condition and she also would sweat heavily during naps - a sign of an allergy. She also had more traditional signs of allergy such as redness around the mouth with certain foods, runny nose with no cold, irritability. She was then treated by a homeopathic for her allergies and has not had a stye since."
2. "I have a little experience with styes as I am a general pediatrician. Both internal and external styes can be treated with warm compresses, placed off and on for about 15 minutes at a time approximately four times per day. The best method for warm compresses are to brew a hot cup of tea (the flavor doesn't matter) and then place the hot tea bag over the eye. For some reason the tea bag does not cool off as quickly as a washcloth. If, despite continued treatment with warm compresses, the stye hardens into a chalazion (similar to a hard cyst) and does not reduce in size within a month, you should be referred to an ophthalmologist for consideration of incision and curettage (removal) or steroid shot."
3. "Stye infections - esp chronic are one of the many things we heal as CLASSICAL HOMEOPATHS."
East meets West. Alternative meets Conventional. Homeopathy, meet Medicine. How do you do? Growing up in a family of straight-laced Western medicine people, I have such mixed feelings and ambivalence about alternative medicine. Homeopathy? What's that?! Yet sometimes I wonder: maybe I'm being close-minded and, what's more, maybe I'm limiting myself by not stepping out of my comfort zone.
There are some people who look askance at the Western medical approach. A neighbor was horrified when she heard I vaccinated my family against seasonal flu. "Don't you know that flu is wonderful for the body?" she exclaimed. "It detoxes the body. I would never give my children flu shots!"
Isn't it so great that there are so many different types of people that inhabit the planet? Always so much to ponder! Meanwhile, Eye am really not sure what to do with my ocular pal. I think I'll name him Stymied. :-)
About Riva Pomerantz
I'm a freelance writer, widely published in several magazines including the internationally-distributed Ami Magazine and Mishpacha Jewish Family Weekly. Riva's work also appears on the award-winning website www.aish.com, amongst others. You can buy my books here.