Read on for all you need to know about those painful annoying, red bumps otherwise known as eye styes and how to treat them at home.
What’s a Stye?
It might look like a giant mosquito bite or a pimple on the eyelid or inner part of your eye. It’s usually painful when you blink or to touch it and let’s face it, it can be rather unsightly.
What causes Styes?
According to Healthline.com a stye in your eye is caused by bacterial infection in an oil gland or hair follicle on your eyelid. When these become clogged with debris and bacteria it causes infection which results in that nasty painful lump otherwise known as a stye. For more about eye stye causes, types of eyes styes and prevention of eyes styes visit this post.
How can I treat a stye at home?
Styes can catch you off guard and appear out of nowhere. However; there are some things you can do at home to speed up healing and alleviate discomfort so you can get your peepers back their usual healthy, happy selves in no time.
Here are some of our top home remedies for eye stye treatment:
- Clean the Area with Mild Soap and Water
To get rid of any bacteria contributing to the stye. Avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaners that can irritate the area further.
- Apply a Warm Compress
This will encourage the stye to drain and help ease the discomfort. The Canadian Academy of Optometry recommends 15 minutes 3-4 times a day.
- Gently Massage the Area
To help it to drain. Do not pop the stye.
- Brew some Tea
Drink the tea to soothe yourself then save the bag for a warm compress over your eyes to encourage drainage. Black tea works best notes Healthline.com as it has anti-bacterial properties. Use the bag after you have poured hot water over it and taken it out and allowed it to cool. You need it to be warm to be effective but you don’t want to burn your eyes. Use a separate tea bag for each eye.
- Stye Care Ointment
There are OTC stye ointments to speed up healing and some that are appropriate to use on the inside of the eyelid as well. Check with your eye doctor to see if this treatment is right for you.
- Avoid wearing Contacts/Make-up
Don’t expose your eye to any other potential bacteria.
How to Prevent Getting Eye Styes
- Change out Contacts/Make-up
While it’s okay to be thrifty, when it comes to things you use in on or near your eyes, it isn’t worth it. Don’t use daily contacts for a week to try to save money, and if you can’t remember the last time that you changed your eye make-up, then now is the time. All About Vision recommends changing out all eye make-up every 3-4 months or more. Frequent use can transfer bacteria that’s already on your skin and eyes onto brushes and cosmetics. This can cause styes and other bacterial infections.
- Don’t Rub your Eyes
Bacteria from your hands can cause eye styes or aggravate them once you have them. If you suffer from dry eye or allergy eye, try drops for relief. Don’t use anything for dry eye when you have a stye and check with your eye doctor first.
- Wash your Hands Often
Mom was right, and the Center for Disease Control agrees. Hand washing does help to prevent spreading germs and this is especially true when touching your eyes.
- Remove Make-up Before Bed
No one should wear make-up to bed other than soap stars. It isn’t good for your eyes and debris can clog your follicles leading to eye styes and other issues.
How long do eye styes last?
With eye stye treatments and home remedies such as those outlined in this post, they should drain in 3 days and completely heal within 7-10 days.
When should I see the eye doctor about an eye stye?
- A stye doesn’t get better after a few days, or if it gets worse.
- Your eye (not just your eyelid) hurts a lot.
- You can’t see well.
- Your eyelid swells, turns very red, and won’t open all the way.
With the treatments for eye styes outlined here and a little patience, your eye stye should go away. If it’s not going away on its own you may need a prescription antibiotic cream or your eye doctor may need to drain it. Hopefully though with a little care and eye stye prevention you can kiss eye styes good-bye for good.