A stye is a firm, red lump that develops on the eyelid. It looks like a pimple and may cause some amount of pain. A stye fills with pus and usually subsides on its own in a few days. Styes usually form along the outer edge of the eyelid, but may also develop on the inner region. The pain and discomfort caused by styes may be relieved through natural treatments such as warm compresses.

Symptoms of Stye

Eye stye symptoms include the following:

  • Pain in the affected eyelid
  • Tenderness
  • Burning sensation
  • Swelling of the eyelid
  • Appearance of a red, raised area on the eyelid which looks like a pimple
  • Watering of the eye
  • Discomfort while blinking
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Grittiness in the eyes
  • Mucus discharge from the affected eye

The symptoms of a stye may sometimes be similar to other medical conditions; therefore it is best to consult your doctor. Styes are usually harmless and do not cause any damage to the eyes. You can use home treatments such as placing a warm cloth over the affected eyelid. This will relieve the symptoms. If the stye persists for more than a week or if the swelling and redness spread to other parts of the face, consult your doctor immediately.

Causes of Stye

Some of the most common causes of styes include:

  • The bacteria known as staphylococcus are usually responsible for causing styes. There may also be other bacteria involved in some cases. The bacteria can transfer to the eyes due to poor hygiene.
  • Eye stye causes also include inflammation. A condition known as blepharitis leads to chronic inflammation along the rim of the eyelid. Taking the proper treatment for blepharitis will help to prevent the occurrence of styes.
  • Hormonal changes
  • Stress

Remedies for Stye

In order to diagnose a stye, your doctor may need to examine your eyelid. In some cases, the stye is lanced in order to reduce pressure. A sample of the pus may also be sent to the laboratory for testing. This will help to identify the type of bacteria responsible for the condition. Antibiotics will then be given to treat the bacterial infection. Mostly styes do not need any medical treatment. They disappear in a few days or a week. But in case of stubborn styes that persist for long periods of time, your doctor may prescribe antibiotic treatment in the form of eye drops or creams. Pills to relieve the symptoms may also be given. In rare cases, surgery may be required to drain the pus and alleviate pain and pressure.

Most cases of styes can be relieved through simple natural treatments. Keep in mind that most natural remedies are not scientifically proven to have any effect and some may produce varied results among different individuals. Exercise caution when attempting to use any natural remedy, as some may even be detrimental. Here are some stye home remedies that are rather popular:

  • Avoid squeezing a stye as this can lead to a secondary infection.
  • Dip a clean washcloth in warm water and place it over the affected eyelid. Once the cloth cools, wet it again and use. Do this for about ten minutes. It will help to drain the pus from the stye.
  • Avoid wearing any eye makeup until the stye has healed completely.
  • Avoid wearing contact lenses as they can get contaminated and the bacteria may transfer to the uninfected eye.
  • Coriander seeds are believed to be one of the most beneficial home remedies for a stye. Add one teaspoon of coriander seeds to a cup of water and bring to a boil. Use the solution to cleanse the eyes thrice daily.
  • Alum works well as a cure for eye stye. Add a couple of alum granules to one cup of water and use the solution to wash the affected eye.
  • Cucumber is a soothing home remedy for styes. Place slices of cucumber over the infected eyelid to reduce swelling and soreness.
  • You can also apply tomato slices to the affected area.
  • Natural treatment for a stye can also include using tea bags. Place a wet tea bag over the closed eyelid for about ten minutes. Tea contains tannins that will help provide relief from a stye.
  • Prepare a paste of potato and a little water, add to a clean cloth and place it over the affected eyes. This helps to alleviate pain and swelling.
  • Add a handful of acacia leaves to two cups of boiling water. Dip a clean washcloth in the solution and use it as a compress on the affected eye. This helps to alleviate pain.
  • Turmeric is a popular antiseptic home remedy. Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to two cups of water and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until the solution reduces to half. Strain it until the water runs clear and use as eye drops twice or thrice every day.
  • Dandelion tea serves as an effective anti-bacterial eye wash.
  • Soak a clove in water and gently rub against the affected eyelid. This will help to reduce the pain.
  • A beneficial compress can be made with warm guava leaves. Warm up a few guava leaves and place inside a warm, moist cloth. Place the compress over the eyes.
  • Aloe vera gel is a popular treatment for styes. Extract the pulpy gel from an aloe leaf by slitting it lengthwise. You can remove the gel from the leaf or rub the pulpy side of the leaf directly over the infected eyelid.
  • Separate the white of a raw egg and place in a clean cloth. Place this over the stye for fifteen minutes thrice every day.
  • Add some salt to warm water, allow it to cool slightly and then soak a cotton ball in it. Dab the cotton ball over the affected eye. Use a fresh cotton ball each time.
  • Add some fresh parsley leaves to a bowl and pour boiling water over it. Allow it to steep for a few minutes and then dip a clean cloth into the solution. Place the cloth over your closed eyelid. Repeat the treatment before going to bed at night. This will help to reduce swelling and tenderness.

Diet for Stye

Multivitamins are helpful in boosting immunity and promoting good health. You can get sufficient vitamins and minerals through the diet. However in some cases, your body may need a higher intake of nutrients such as in childhood and pregnancy. You may also not be absorbing an adequate amount of nutrients if you have certain health conditions. Multivitamins are beneficial in such cases. They help to strengthen the immune system and protect the body against various infections and illnesses. Zinc is an important ingredient in multivitamins as it is essential for health and helps to enhance the immune system. The vitamins A, C and E are important antioxidants which improve immunity and prevent bacterial and viral infections. To prevent infections, you must also avoid eating sugary and starchy foods. Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and to eliminate toxins from the body.

Suggestions for Stye

Use the following tips to prevent styes and other eye infections:

  • Maintain proper hygiene by washing the hands frequently with water and soap. You can also use an alcohol-based sanitizer when you are outdoors.
  • Avoid touching your eyes with your hands.
  • Always check the expiry date on cosmetics. Use good quality cosmetics and avoid sharing them with others.
  • Ensure that your contact lenses are clean. Wash your hands before handling the lenses and use the proper methods of disinfecting them.
  • In case you have blepharitis, make sure that you take the appropriate treatment.

Stye - Frequently asked questions