If you’ve noticed a stye in your eye, you’re probably wondering why it’s there and how to get rid of it. Eye styes can be irritating and painful, and although they’re quite small, they can still impact your day to day life. Most styes subside within one to two weeks and often go away on their own, but there are also natural eye stye remedies you can try to reduce the pain and swelling in the meantime. From using a warm compress to help draw out pus and bacteria, to using anti-inflammatory coriander seeds, try these natural remedies to feel better!
What is an Eye Stye?
An eye stye is a tender or painful red bump on the edge of your eyelid caused by a bacterial infection. It can form on your upper or lower eyelid and looks similar to a pimple. Your eyelids have lots of tiny oil glands, especially around the eyelashes. Dead skin, dirt or oil build up can clog or block the glands, making it easy for bacteria to grow and cause a stye to develop.
What Causes Eye Styes?
Eye styes are caused by an infection of oil glands in the eyelid. They’re most commonly caused by staphylococcus bacteria. These bacteria usually live harmlessly on the skin, but they can cause infection if the skin is damaged. Make sure not to rub or squeeze the stye as this can cause the infection to spread.
You may be more likely to get an eye stye if:
- You’ve had one before
- You wear contact lenses
- You touch your eyes with unwashed hands
- You use makeup that’s old or contaminated
- You leave makeup on overnight
- You don’t clean your eye area properly
- You have other eye conditions such as an inflamed or infected eyelid
- You have other conditions such as rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis or diabetes
8 Eye Stye Signs and Symptoms
1. A red lump on your eyelid near your eye lashes
2. Eyelid pain
3. Eyelid swelling
4. Crusting along the eyelid
5. Light sensitivity
6. Soreness and itching
7. Eye tearing
8. Feeling like there’s something in your eye
When to See a Doctor
Most styes are harmless, however you should see your healthcare provider if your stye doesn’t start clearing up after about a week of home treatment. If the redness and swelling extends to your entire eyelid or onto other parts of your face, you should get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible. Tell your doctor immediately if you have blurry vision after getting a stye. Also see your doctor if you experience severe eyelid or eye pain, eyeball redness, severe eyelid swelling, eye bruising or loss of eyelashes.
7 Natural Eye Stye Remedies
1. Warm Compress
A warm compress can help relieve pain, reduce inflammation and ease the drainage of pus from inside the stye. Dip a clean cloth into hot, sterile water. Allow the compress to cool slightly and apply it to the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes. Apply up to 4 times per day to help draw pus and bacteria to the surface more quickly.
2. Baby Shampoo and Warm Water
Since bacteria causes a stye, it’s important to keep your eyelid clean and it’s recommended to gently wash the area with mild soap or baby shampoo and warm water. Mix the two together, then use a washcloth or dip a cotton swab into the liquid. Gently swipe the swab over the closed eyelid and repeat every 2 days.
3. Warm Tea Bags
Similar to a warm compress, warm tea bags can help reduce inflammation and pain. Green tea in particular has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce swelling around the eye. It also has antimicrobial properties that can reduce infection. Brew a tea bag in boiling water then remove it to allow it to cool. Once it is warm (not hot), place it over your eye for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse your eye with warm water and pat dry. Always use a new tea bag when repeating.
4. Avoid Wearing Makeup and Contact Lenses
Makeup that comes in full contact with your eyes or the surrounding area, such as mascara, eye liner, concealer and foundation should be avoided until your stye is gone. Makeup can irritate the skin around the stye and may even spread the stye to other areas. You should also avoid wearing contact lenses until your stye is healed, and be sure to replace the contacts you were wearing when the stye developed.
5. Chamomile and Rosemary Eyewash
Chamomile and rosemary are an excellent duo when it comes to treating your eye stye. Chamomile has calming properties, which helps relieve pain and discomfort and rosemary is a natural antibiotic. To make this infusion, boil ½ litre of water, then place 3 rosemary stems and 30 grams of chamomile flowers into the boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove the stems and flowers, then allow the mixture to cool. Once cool, wash your eyes with this infusion.
6. Cucumber Slices
Cucumber is cool and refreshing and placing it on your eyelids when you have a stye can make it less bothersome. It provides cool moisture that helps decrease inflammation and irritation. Slice a refrigerated cucumber and place a slice on your eye for 10 minutes. Try to relax and let it work its magic.
7. Coriander Seeds
Coriander has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help soothe pain. You can make a homemade compress by boiling 1 cup of water with 1.5 teaspoons of coriander seeds. Remove the pan from heat and let the seeds soak in the water at room temperature for 30 minutes. Strain the liquid and allow it to cool. Once it reaches a comfortable temperature, wash around the stye. Repeat up to 3 times per day.
Eye styes can be painful and uncomfortable, but we hope these natural remedies provide you with some relief!