Stye: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

A stye is a tender bump on the eyelids, accompanied by pain and swelling.

A stye is a tender bump on the eyelids

Do you have a small red bump in your eye? Then you must have a stye. It is a tender bump usually inside or outside of the eyelid. You may even think that it is just a pimple. But a stye happens when one of your eyelashes become irritated and clogged.

Other people experience it in one eye, while others have it on both eyes. On a brighter note, a stye is not a serious condition, and it will not affect your eyesight. But if you are one of those people who just want this bump to go away, then continue reading this article to find out the causes and treatments of a stye.

Stye Symptoms

As mentioned, a stye is a bump in your eye. It looks like a pimple but it is not. How will you know? You will experience eyelid pain and swelling when you have a stye. The infected eye might also be teary most of the time. You might feel irritated as well. Also, you might find it itchy or painful when the infected eye is exposed to the sun.

Fortunately, stye is cured after a few days. But when it lasts longer for a few days or when your eye already hurts a lot, then you should consider consulting your doctor about it. The worst case scenario would be when you cannot open your eye anymore or when the stye kept on appearing every now and then.

Stye Causes

The number one cause of stye is bacteria. The bacteria, usually staphylococci bacteria, can irritate the oil glands in your eye. When you scratch your eye and the bacteria is passed, there is a tendency for the bacteria to be trapped in your eyelid. After a few days, the bacteria, along with the dead skin cells, will develop into a small bump.

Another way that you can have stye is when you have mucus in your hand, and you scratch or hold your eye. This can easily spread the bacteria thus forming a bump in your eye. Meanwhile, if the condition keeps on getting back, it means that your eyelids need to be cleaned frequently.

Other causes of stye are when you use old cosmetics, when you did not disinfect your contact lenses, or when you touch your eyes without washing your hands. You will be most likely to have this condition when you have blepharitis as well. This is a chronic redness that usually happens on the edge of your eyelid.

On top of those, you have a high risk of having stye if you have a background of chalazion in the past. People with dermatitis, rosacea, or even diabetes are prone to this condition.

Stye Treatments

Lucky for you, there are home remedies for stye. But once any of these are not working, the best solution would be to give your doctor a visit. Until then, you can use any of the following home treatments for stye:

  • No matter what happens, do not pop. Stye is not a pimple that you can just pop whenever you feel like it. To prevent the bacteria from spreading, you should not pop the bump. Instead, wait until it dries.
  • You can use a simple dry compress. Simply soak a small cloth in warm water. Then, place the cloth in the infected area for 15 minutes. You can do this as often as you want to dry the bump in your eye.
  • If the dry compress does not work, try teabag compress. Just like the hot compress, place the tea bag under warm water and place it in your eye. This should last for 15 minutes or until the warmness of the teabag is gone. You can do this every once in a while until the bump disappears.
  • Do not cover the stye with makeup. The makeup might slow down the healing of the condition, or worse, irritate it even more. Also, there is a possibility that the bacteria will further spread through the makeup pencils and brushes. Take note that you should discard old makeup as well.
  • Clean your eyelids using baby shampoo every day. All you have to do is soak the cotton swab in a no-tears baby shampoo. Take note that you should not use a regular baby shampoo or the stye will burn.

If the aforementioned treatments do not work, the doctor might recommend that you use antibiotic ointment. In some cases, the doctor will give you a steroid injection to reduce the inflammation or swelling of the stye.

But when the stye starts to affect your vision, you will have to undergo surgery. During this procedure, the doctor will inject a medicine in your eye for it to be numb. Then, he will make a small opening for the fluid to come out.

Stye Prevention

The best way for you to prevent having stye is by making sure that your eyelids are always clean. You can do this by washing your hands regularly. Using soap or alcohol-based sanitizer can be a great way to keep your hands clean at all times.

As mentioned, you need to throw away your old cosmetics to prevent having stye. It is also not recommended that you share your makeup with other people. You should not wear your eye makeup overnight as well. If you are using contact lenses, then be sure that you wash your hands first before handling it. You can also ask your doctor on how you can disinfect your contact lens to prevent having bacteria.

More than those, you should keep your face clean at all times. You can wash your face with soap before you sleep to keep it fresh and free from germs.

Stye is a bump inside or outside your eyelid that is caused by bacteria. You can have this condition when you scratch your eyes without washing your hands or when you use old cosmetics. To prevent having stye, it is best that you keep your face as well as your eyelids clean.


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