Treatment of the eyelid problems includes vigorous lubrication of the eye with artificial tear drops and lubricating ointment. 13 Plastic wrap, fixed to the skin with ointment, may be placed over the orbital region during the night to create a moisture chamber for the eye. For temporary facial palsies such as Bell's palsy, small external tantalum eyelid weights (manufactured by MedDev, Palo Alto, Calif.; telephone: 650-494-1153) may be easily fixed to the skin with double-sided tape ( Figure 18 , top and bottom) . The weight passively closes the upper lid, protecting the cornea. 14 Surgical procedures are performed in patients with permanent palsies.
If a stye persists for several days, a healthcare professional may drain the infection with a minor procedure under local anesthesia in his or her office. Babies or children who require surgical drainage of a stye may need a general anesthetic. Antibiotic ointments and/or steroid ointments sometimes are prescribed to treat a stye. Rarely, an oral antibiotic is recommended for persistent or multiple styes. Over-the-counter pain medications may be used to alleviate pain and tenderness in the eyelid that come with the condition. Contact lenses and eye makeup should never be worn during treatment for a stye.