Have you ever woken up with a stye? If yes, you know the discomfort it brings. A stye or hordeolum, sometimes spelt “sty”, is a reddish lump on the outer edge of your eyelid. If you have questions about why it occurs, or how to get rid of a stye on your eyelid fast, read on to find out! 

What Causes Styes in the Eyes?

Your eyelids have plenty of oil glands, and several of them are around your eyelashes. When any of these glands are blocked or clogged — due to dirt, dead skin cells or oil buildup, bacteria grows and causes a stye to develop.

Styes are often caused by a type of bacteria called Staphylococcus, that live on your skin — and are harmless unless they get into your eye or get trapped in a gland or hair follicle.

Symptoms of Eye Stye

A stye can usually be diagnosed by looking at it — no special tests are needed. The most common symptoms of a stye include:

  • A visible red bump on the eyelid
  • A crust forming around the eyelid
  • Pain and swelling
  • Increased tear production
  • Itchiness in the eye

Who Is More Likely to Develop a Stye?

If someone has or partakes in any of these risk factors, they could be more likely to develop a stye – 

  • Touching or rubbing the eye a lot, leading to the transfer of bacteria 
  • Having itchy eyes from allergies
  • Using contaminated mascara or eyeliner
  • Leaving eye-makeup on overnight
  • Certain skin conditions  

How Do You Get Rid of a Stye?

If your stye is annoying you or causing you pain, worry not. Styes take a few days to heal, and the pain will lessen gradually. In the meantime, here are some things you can do to speed up the healing process of your stye —  and get rid of it sooner:

Use a Warm Compress 

This is one of the easiest ways to treat a stye — also an effective home remedy. Make one by soaking a piece of clean cloth in hot water until it’s warm —  but not so warm that it burns your skin! Wring the cloth so that it’s damp but not dripping with water. And gently place it over your eye for 5 to 10 minutes. Don’t hard-press it or rub it on your stye —  you don’t want it to get worse!

Do this 2 to 3 times a day. This process will help to unclog the gland, liquify the hardened material in a stye, and help it heal. 

Avoid Wearing Contact Lenses or Eye-Makeup 

If you wear contact lenses, avoid them and stick to your glasses till your stye heals completely. Because bacteria from the stye can get into the contacts and spread the infection.

And if you wear eye makeup or makeup anywhere close to the eye, avoid that too till the stye heals, so that it doesn’t irritate the eye. This way, you will also be able to prevent the transfer of bacteria to your makeup and tools.

Don’t Pop or Squeeze Your Stye

Don’t pop, squeeze, or touch a stye — though you may be tempted to do so. It may seem like an easy way to get rid of your stye, but it will end up worsening it and spreading the infection. 

Use Mild Soap and Water to Cleanse

To clean the eyelid, use mild soap or cleaning solutions. Avoid harsh, synthetic chemicals and use products with ingredients that are hypoallergenic and non-irritating.

When Should You See a Doctor For a Stye?

A stye usually goes off on its own, and the above remedies help. If your stye is an internal one or is affecting your vision, consider seeing an eye doctor. If it doesn’t improve in a couple of days, or in extreme cases bleeds heavily —  you should visit an ophthalmologist immediately. 

If you are having a painful eye stye or if your eye stye is causing you visual problems, you should consult an ophthalmologist at Prasad Netralaya, Mangalore and Udupi’s most trusted eye care hospital. Our experienced staff is here to make sure that you receive the quality eye care that you deserve. Call us at +91 9513596565 or book an appointment if you wish to visit in person. You can also book a teleconsultation.