7 best remedies for styes
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7 Best Remedies for Styes

Styes can be very uncomfortable and that’s an important reason we look for the best or fastest remedies for styes. Looking for a quick fix is probably what led you here. Let’s go through it together here.

What is a Stye (Sty)? 

A stye, also known as a hordeolum (sometimes spelled as sty), is caused by a bacteria infection, and in most cases, the cause could be staphylococcus bacteria. It is an inflammation of the eyelid’s oil gland with a collection of a little pus. Styes can be painful, annoying, and uncomfortable. One can still get it even when you take good care of your eyes. However, there are steps one can take to treat or prevent them. Styes are usually common and are not a sign of anything that is serious. 

A stye is a lump occurring on the outer edge of the eyelid, and it is usually reddish, tender to touch, and quite painful. It happens when a gland or a follicle that is clogged with dead skin cells and other debris becomes infected. It usually produces inflammatory cells and pus. In most cases, stye would go away within a week, but for some, treatment may be required.

Usually, a stye is seen close to only one eye. Before touching the area where you have a stye, always ensure to wash your hands to prevent the infection from spreading. 

What is a stye
Picture courtesy: verywellhealth

On the eyelid, the stye can either be inside (internal) or outside (external).

The external styes occasionally begin in the sebaceous gland but most times begin in a follicle of the eyelid. It is more common than the styes that occur inside of the eyelid (internal styes). The external styes are mostly found on the outside edges of the eyelid.

Internal styes are usually more painful than styes that occur externally. Most of the internal stye occurring within the eyelid tissue (meibomian gland) starts in an oil gland.

Types of Stye

External Stye

An external stye usually occurs at the outer edge of the eyelid, usually filled with pus. When touched, they are painful. The following areas, when infected, may cause external styes.

  • The sebaceous gland produces the sebum and is attached to the follicle of the eyelash. The eyelash is kept from drying by the sebum which lubricates it,
  • The eyelash follicle which is where the eyelashes grow. They are small holes in the skin.
  • The apocrine gland is a sweat gland that empties into the eyelash follicle and ensures that the eyelashes do not dry out.

Internal stye

The internal stye usually pains more than the external stye. The swelling happens in the eyelid. This infection mostly happens when the meibomian gland is infected. Part of the film that covers the eyes is made up of a secretion produced by the gland.

Internal stye
Picture courtesy: MedicineNet

Causes and Risks for Developing a Stye

The group of people who will most likely get stye are adolescents; however, any person of any age can still get it. Styes are not contagious; however, to reduce cross infections among household members, when one member of the house has stye, other members of the household should avoid sharing face or wash clothes since these towels may have residual bacteria. If one has had a stye before, the chances of getting another one will increase. Even after styes have healed, they can still reoccur.

Staphylococcus, a harmless bacteria commonly found on the skin, is the most cause of stye. The most common way bacteria get is when you rub or touch your eyes. Other factors that raise the likelihood of getting bacteria into your eyes include:

  • When makeup is not removed at night
  • Itchy eyes resulting from allergies or hay fever
  • When the eyelid is inflamed
  • When a mascara or eyeliner which has been contaminated is used
  • Certain Medical conditions like diabetes
  • Certain skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis and rosacea
  • Deprivation of sleep
  • Using expired cosmetics
  • Nutrition that is not adequate

When contact lenses are not properly used or cared for, this increases the opportunity for infections. The following will increase the likelihood of contact-lens-related infection

  • Not washing your hands before touching the contacts
  • When the contacts are not properly cleaned
  • When disposable contacts are reused
  • Using expired contacts
  • Using contacts to sleep

Symptoms of Stye

A lump that forms either inside or outside the eyelid is the most noticeable symptom. It is painful sometimes. In most cases, a yellowish fluid may drain from the stye. Before the lump forms, one may notice tenderness or redness. It is painful touching the eyelid, and at times there is swelling of the entire eyelid. Usually, there is a feeling of something like dust irritating one’s eyes. The affected eyes are usually sensitive to light and may be watery.

It is very rare to see both eyes affected simultaneously by stye. Most times, just one eye is affected at a time, although there is the possibility of having on the same eye more than one stye or in each eye having one stye. Most times, the lump looks like a pimple or a boil. The affected eye is usually red and teary because of the swelling on the eye, which is painful and red. The infection produces pus that comes to a head like a pimple, creating a yellowish or beige spot on the stye’s top.

Other symptoms include:

  1. Eye itching
  2. Tenderness of the eyes
  3. Light sensitivity (photophobia)
  4. Mucus discharge from the eye
  5. Visions that are blur
  6. Teary eyes
  7. A feeling of discomfort when blinking
  8. Swelling of the eyelid
  9. A gritty feeling in the eyes
  10. Redness of the eyelid
  11. Crust formed on the edge of the eyelid.

Treatment of Stye (Stye Remedies)

Without any treatment, most styes resolve. Until the stye is completely gone, it is advised not to put on makeup or wear contact lenses or lotion. Infection can spread to the other part of the eyelid if a stye is squeezed or popped. If stye causes soreness, over-the-counter painkillers can be used. Treatment of stye includes

  1. Warm compress: Warm compress is one of the main home remedies for stye. The warm compress should be held gently against the eye as this will help to ease the symptoms, including the discomfort, and cause the pus to be released readily. The risk of stye recurring or a new one forming is reduced if a warm compress is used once a day. Symptoms will improve once the stye burst. Do not use water that is too hot. The compress should be held for 10-15 minutes against the eye three to four times a day, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. During or after the warm compress, a massage of the stye helps drainage as the warm compress causes a breakup of the material. A warm compress can help do the following.
  • Cause the pus in an external stye to form a head
  • Provides a drainage route for the pus by causing the gland to unclog, especially in internal stye
  • Help to soften the hardened material in a stye to cause it to drain out.

2. Use of warm tea bag: A warm tea bag can be used instead of a warm cloth compress. Black tea has antibacterial properties and can help to reduce swelling. Drop a tea bag in boiled water and allow one minute for the tea to steep. Allow the tea bag to cool enough before placing it over for about 5 to 10 minutes. Be sure to use a separate tea bag for each eye. Apply the use of a tea bag twice daily as a compress, as this will help to reduce any discomfort or swelling associated with a stye.

Use of warm tea bag
Picture courtesy: Stye Treatment

3. Use mild soap and water to clean your eyelid: Doctors advise that cleaning the eye area with a chemical that is synthetic and harsh should be avoided; instead, hypoallergenic and nonirritating ingredients should be used. Care should be taken with products applied to the eye area since the skin on other parts of the body is thicker than those around the eye area. Saline solution can be used to clean the eye areas as it helps to cause bacterial membranes to break down and help to promote drainage. This ais a helpful stye rem.edy

4. Avoid the use of contact lenses and makeup: The use of makeup while one has a stye should be avoided as this can further irritate the eyes and cause the healing process to be delayed. Bacteria can be transferred to the makeup tools and cause the infection to spread to the other eye. Eye products that are over three months old should be thrown away, and reusable brushes should be washed regularly. Use glasses during the period of stye infection and avoid the use of contact lenses because bacteria can get on the contact and increase the chances of infection. To prevent reinfection, get new contact lenses once the stye is healed

5. To promote drainage, massage the area: To improve drainage, use clean hands to massage the area with lid wipes gently but if the massage hurts, discontinue massage. Ensure that area is kept clean after draining the stye, and avoid touching your eyes.  

6. Antibiotics: Another remedy for stye is antibiotic ointments or eye drops prescribed by the doctor if the stye does not resolve.

7. Incision and drainage may be performed if, after the use of antibiotics and warm compress on the stye, it does not resolve. In this case, the doctor would make a small incision on the area and drain the pus, This is one of the final stages of stye remedies depending on the doctor.

Preventive Measures

The following are preventive measures or easy ways for stye remedies.

  1. Ensure that contacts are kept clean and disinfected
  2. Ensure before touching contacts to wash hands properly
  3. Discard disposable contacts properly and not reuse them
  4. To relieve itching from hay fever or allergies, take medications
  5. Treat meibomian gland, rosacea, and blepharitis
  6. Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes
  7. Use soap and warm water to wash your hands or a hand sanitizer that has alcohol

The following are some precautions that can be taken when the eye is infected by stye

  • Throw away all the old eye makeup
  • Wearing eye makeup should be avoided
  • Ensure that your hands are washed frequently
  • Avoid the use of contact lenses

Even though styes are not contagious, bacteria can be transferred through makeups that are infected. Therefore, it is important not to share your makeup, especially eyeliner and mascara.

References 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stye/

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/hordeolum-stye

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/220551

https://www.healthline.com/health/eye-health/what-causes-a-stye

https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/best-stye-remedies

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