Having a stye can be quite uncomfortable, although it is not regarded as a serious medical condition. Nevertheless, you may feel an obstruction whenever you blink your eye as this abnormal growth is found on the outer edge of the eyelid. There are also cases when sties form inside the eyelid, which can also cause some serious discomfort.
Since there are several oil glands in your eyelids, this part of your eye can be prone to excess oil buildup or dirt accumulation. When there is blockage in the gland, this can trigger bacterial growth inside. As the issue worsens, a stye may form over time. You may experience some symptoms associated with this condition including swelling or pain of the affected area, until a crust forms around this portion of your eyelid. It is also possible for your eye to produce excess tear because of irritation.
To get rid of a stye, it may help to do certain natural techniques or even use medications that can treat this pimple-looking red bump on your eyelid once and for all. Generally, it takes about a week for sties to go away. So, to treat sties effectively, whether these are found on the inside or outside portion of your eyelids, here are some tips and remedies that may be of help.
Remedies for removing sties
Since sties develop because of infection, the first thing you need to do when you notice such growths is to keep the area clean. Exposure to dust, dirt or even makeup can lead to sties, as well as oil buildup in the area. A type of bacteria called staphylococcal cause this condition, and such foreign element gets trapped in the oil gland or hair follicle in the corner of your eye. So, make it a point to prevent touching the stye with your hands since this may only cause further irritation.
You may disinfect your hands before touching the stye each time you apply a cream or ointment designed for this eye issue. However, if you are not putting any treatment, it is best to prevent yourself from touching your eyes to prevent the condition from getting worse.
2. Avoid squeezing the stye
Perhaps you want this red bump out of your eyelids already, and you may even be tempted to pop it because you assume it is the best way to go. Unfortunately, popping sties will only do more harm than good. Once you pop the bump, this can trigger infections that can prolong the healing process.
If you squeeze the stye, this can lead to the release of pus, thus causing further spread of infection. Furthermore, if your fingers are dirty, and you use these for popping this tiny red bump, transfer of germs and bacteria may arise. This is why it is recommended to just allow the stye to drain and dry, or to consult a doctor for proper treatment.
3. Use warm compress to bring the swelling down
Nothing works better in disinfecting and reducing infection than by using warm water. With this in mind, you should apply warm compress on the affected area, which can aid in dissolving the pus that cause the swelling. Also, pressing down the bump with warm compress can help in draining and healing the stye at a quicker manner.
Get a clean washcloth and dip it in warm water. Do not use scalding hot water since it will only burn your skin and make things worse. After dipping the cloth in damp warm water, be sure to wring it and remove excess water. Afterwards, place the warm washcloth over the eye where the stye is located. Hold it for about 5 minutes and continue dipping the cloth in warm water each time it gets cooler. Make it a point to put warm compress up to four times daily, so the swelling and pain will subside.
4. Disinfect the area
Another way to keep your eyelid clean is by disinfecting it. The key to speeding up the process of treating your stye is by preventing bacteria from getting in it, since infection can be avoided. Hence, you need to be vigilant in eliminating any opportunities for foreign elements such as dirt and dust to get into your eyes.
You can use mild and tear-free shampoo for babies that contain natural and safe ingredients. Use a clean washcloth and wet your eyelids with warm water. Then, pour some baby shampoo on the cloth and mix with some warm water before gently dabbing this to your style. You may also use a cotton swab dipped in baby shampoo and warm water to clean your eyelids. It is ideal to do this once a day to keep the area thoroughly clean.
5. Use cucumber slices
Cucumber can cool your eyes because of its high water content. It also contains antioxidants that facilitate the healing process. Thus, using cucumber as a natural treatment for sties is a good solution to consider.
You may either use a thin slice of cucumber straight from the fridge and leave this over the affected area, or freeze a thin slice of cucumber and run some water on it before putting it on top of your eyelid. You will experience a cooling and soothing sensation as the cucumber slice removes any pain caused by the red bump.
If you want a boost of antibacterial components in your eyelid for faster results, you may use a teabag instead of a warm water compress. The best thing about teabag compress is the fact that it works best in minimizing swelling. In particular, using a green tea bag delivers antibacterial elements into your eyelids, which facilitate healing.
Boil some water in a pot and pour this into a cup. Then, dip the teabag and let it steep for about a minute. However, be sure to allow the teabag to cool for a bit before you place it over the eye since you do not want to burn your skin by placing a very hot teabag on top of it. Allow the teabag compress to warm your eye for as much as 5 minutes. You may rinse your eye with lukewarm water after the process.
7. Consider OTC painkillers
If you are experiencing unbearable pain because of your stye, you may consider taking over-the-counter pain relievers to eliminate discomfort. Some common choices for these painkillers include acetaminophen or ibuprofen, which eases the pain effectively. Keep in mind, though, that you should follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully before you take the medication. You should adhere to the recommended dosage to avoid harsh side effects.
8. Take oral antibiotics
In case the stye has not subsided after a couple of weeks, you may consult your doctor for further treatment options. Your ophthalmologist should be able to prescribe you with oral antibiotics, which can inhibit the growth and infestation of microorganisms in your eye. These antibiotics also help in destroying and eliminating elements that infect your eyelids and prevent the stye from healing.
The best thing about oral antibiotics is the quick effect if these are taken once the stye is still in the early stages of development. In fact, addressing the issue during its onset can prevent the oil gland from undergoing full blockage that prolongs treatment. In addition, there are some antibiotics that can unblock these oil glands, so these can function properly while allowing sties to heal faster. With proper timing during the treatment process, you can eliminate the stye fast enough.
9. Buy antibacterial cream designed to treat styes
Another solid option for stye treatment is the use of special antibacterial cream made specifically for addressing styes. However, this is a delicate item to buy, and it is best to ask your doctor for the right product that can deliver the results you want. Although such cream is widely available at pharmacies or drug stores, you would not want to make a mistake of purchasing the wrong one.
Read instructions carefully before applying the cream on the affected area. Just make it a point to apply the cream on the stye while preventing it from getting into your eye. You may use a Q-tip when dabbing a small amount of cream on the area.
These creams contain anesthetic components, which work best in giving relief from pain caused by styes. Yet, it is very important to prevent the cream from getting into your eye as serious damages can result by doing so. In case the cream accidentally gets into your eye, you need to flush it out quickly using lukewarm water. If irritation persists, never hesitate to contact your doctor for the right solution to this issue. Most importantly, you need to use the cream only as directed in the package instruction, which is usually just once a day.
Consult a Doctor
Sties usually develop overnight, particularly when there is a spread of germs or bacterial infection. These conditions worsen the blockage of oil gland, thus causing the formation of a chalazion. Basically, this refers to the remains of a stye, and chalazion can last to a few weeks to more than a month. Unfortunately, it is impossible to remove it overnight, and it will require lancing to eliminate a chalazion completely.[Source]
If you experience that your sties are getting larger, or there are no signs of clearing up or improvement, then it may be best to see an eye doctor. Furthermore, if you have been cleaning the area daily and applying warm compress or other home treatment options, you will need the help of an expert to get this issue treated. Draining of the pus done by a professional may also be necessary to facilitate quick healing.
In case you are experiencing difficulties with focusing your eyes, or your vision has become blurry, prompt medical treatment is necessary. During your visit to a doctor, there are a few things that may be done to help your condition. For instance, you may be advised to take antibiotic tablets or creams, particularly if another issue is observed such as bacterial conjunctivitis or pinkeye. Upon intake or administration of antibiotics, this problem should subside quickly.
Another thing that may be done by your doctor to treat your stye is by lancing the area using a fine-tipped blade or needle. This will require puncturing the red bump, which can cause the pus to drain out and get rid if the swelling immediately. However, just remember that if there are further issues present such as blephritis or inflamed rims of your eyelids and seborrhea, additional hygiene techniques for the affected eye area may be advised.
Tips to Prevent Sties in the Future
As mentioned previously, sties occur due to infections caused by bacteria, or accumulation of oil and dirt in the oil glands found in your eyelids. This means, you need to practice hygiene in the eye area to prevent sties from developing in the future.
If you wear contact lens, be sure to avoid putting these on if you currently have sties. Using contact lenses only increases the risks of transferring infection from your stye and into the other parts of your eyes such as the cornea. You should also avoid wearing contacts for a longer time than what these are designed for. If your contacts are expired already, be sure to throw these away instead of wearing them and causing further infections and eye problems.
Another important thing to remember is to remove makeup before going to bed. Dirt accumulation can cause eye infections such as sties, so you need to make it a point to wash your face and completely remove eyeliner, eye shadow or mascara at the end of the day. By doing so, you can keep your eyes in excellent condition and prevent any issues that can only lead to discomfort or abnormal growth such as a stye in your eyelids. By applying these tips, you will be able to treat sties effectively and prevent them from coming back in the future.