How to Get Rid of a Stye
A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous gland located at the base of your eyelid, caused by the staphylococcus bacterium. The redness and swelling on your eyelid can be quite painful and annoying, especially if you have an important interview or a meeting to attend. A stye usually takes 1-3 weeks to go away; but, it is not always possible to wait that long as going out with a huge swelling on your eyes can be highly embarrassing. Thankfully, there are many ways of accelerating the healing process for a faster recovery. Here are some of the best herbal and medical treatment options:
Home remedies to get rid of a stye fast
A dirt-clogged sebaceous gland leads to the swelling and infection; so, measures taken for clearing the clogging helps to quickly get rid of a stye.
- Cleaning the stye with a cotton ball dipped in lukewarm water helps to sanitize the area. Repeat the process several times in a day, making sure to wash your hands properly each time before touching your eyes. You can also use medical eye-scrub soaps or diluted baby shampoos. Rinsing your eyes with lukewarm salt water a few times a day can help as well.
- Warm compress: Take a clean towel or a washcloth, dip it into warm water (not too warm to burn your skin) and hold the warm compress to your eyes for 5-10 minutes. Use a clean cotton ball to wipe away any pus released by the stye. Repeat the procedure 4-5 times a day, making sure to use fresh water each time instead of re-heating the same water. It is one of the best treatments for a stye during pregnancy.
- Herbal compress: Add 2 tablespoons each of chamomile, agrimony, thyme and marigold to 1 cup boiling water, let it steep for 15 minutes and strain. Use the warm liquid to make a warm compress with a clean washcloth and apply on the stye. Repeat at least four times in a day. You can also make a herbal compress with 2-3 drops of tea tree oil in a cup of warm water.
- Coriander seed eye wash: Add some coriander seeds to a bowl of water and let it steep for an hour before straining the liquid. Now, wash your eyes with the coriander water to reduce the swelling.
- Raspberry leaf eye wash: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 tablespoons of dried raspberry leaves, letting it steep for about 15 minutes before straining the liquid. Wash your eyes with the warm liquid several times a day until your stye goes away.
- Guava leaf compress: Take a couple of guava leaves and wet them in warm water before applying them to the affected eyes for 8-10 minutes.
- Soak a tea bag (green or black tea) in warm water for a few minutes, cool it and apply the wet tea bag on the affected eye for 4-5 minutes. Repeat a few times per day for best results. You may also freeze the tea bag in the refrigerator before application.
- Make some potato pulp, place it in a clean cloth and apply it on your affected eye.
- Place a hard-boiled egg in a napkin (while still warm) and apply on the stye (throw away the egg after use)
- Applying some fresh garlic juice is believed to help accelerate the healing process (make sure he garlic does not get into your eyes)
Some people claim that rinsing it with some milk or gently rubbing a gold ring/coin (or anything small made of pure gold) around the bump cures the infection. However, there is no medical proof for these remedies. Make sure not to squeeze the stye to try and remove the pus yourself as this makes it worse. Avoid wearing contact lenses until the infection clears away. Make sure to disinfect them properly in the cleaning solution before using them again.
Medical treatment for getting rid of a stye
- You can use over-the-counter anti-bacterial creams (e.g. Neosporin) if the stye refuses to go away with the above home remedies. Make sure the ointment does not get in your eyes.
- Non-prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be used to reduce pain and swelling. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label. NSAIDs should not be used by children without medical consultation.
Consult your doctor if the stye refuses to go away within a week, or in case of serious symptoms like pain in the eye or redness and swelling in the surrounding areas as these may indicate some underlying condition. They may prescribe antibacterial eye drops, oral antibiotics and use special equipments for draining the pus from the stye or removing the affected eyelash to cure the problem.
How to prevent a stye from occurring again?
- Cleansing your eyelashes regularly with an eye-scrub soap or baby shampoo
- Removing eye makeup properly with an eye makeup remover every night before going to bed
- Throwing away all eye makeup (e.g. mascara, eye shadow, liquid eye liner) after 3 months of use
- Flushing your eyes with cold water as frequently as you can
- Avoiding using the towels and washcloth of anyone suffering from a stye
- Disinfecting your contact lenses properly before every use
- Avoiding using contact lenses overnight (even the ones meant for 24 hour use)
- Washing your hands with an antibacterial hand wash before touching your face and eyes
- Avoiding touching your eyes as much as possible