What causes eye styes and top eye drops and home remedies
Eye stye, also known as a hordeolum, is an inflammation of the oil gland caused by a bacterial infection.
You can take excellent care of your eyes, but because of their annoying nature, you may still develop styes.
Luckily, they clear away within a week, but others may have continuous symptoms and require further treatments.
This article covers the causes or risk factors of styes, their symptoms, treatment using hypochlorous acid, and possible prevention measures.
What triggers an eye stye?
A stye is an irritating, red lump that forms at the edge of the eyelid and looks like a pimple or boil.
They are tender to touch, often filled with pus, and occur when a tiny oil gland near the eyelashes gets blocked and infected.
A stye results from a bacterial infection (the bacterium staphylococcus) in the oil gland or hair follicle found in the eyelid. These oil glands ensure the lubrication of the eye surface.
The oil glands may also get blocked by dead skin cells or other debris and cause infections. This leaves the eyelid irritated, painful and swollen.
Styes are common on only one eyelid, but a person can get styes on both eyelids. They can be managed at home, but some cases will need the intervention of an eye care provider.
Types of stye
There are two types of styes that affect the eyelids, namely:
These styes emerge along the outer margins of the upper or lower eyelids and can be painful, filled with pus, and become yellow.
They are the most common type and result from infections of the eyelash follicle, the Sebaceous gland (which produces sebum for eyelash lubrication), or the apocrine gland (a sweat gland emptying into the eyelash follicle).
These styes are caused by infections in the inner eyelid gland (meibomian gland) that makes oil (meibomian) to help keep the eyelids moist.
It is more painful than external styes because the swelling develops in the eyelid; as they grow, they push on the eye.
Causes and Risk factors
Rubbing or touching the eyes is a common way of transferring bacteria to the eyelids that cause infections.
A person is at a high risk of developing a stye if they:
- You have had a stye before
- Have itchy eyes from hay fever or allergies
- Have inflammation of the eyelid (blepharitis)
- Are experiencing hormonal changes.
- Use contaminated mascara or eyeliner
- Use cosmetics after their use-by dates
- Leave on eye makeup overnight
- Have some medical conditions, such as diabetes
- Have high lipid levels
- Don't disinfect contact lenses before putting them in the eyes
- Have inadequate nutrition
- Change contact lenses without washing your hands thoroughly
- Wear contacts while sleeping
- Reuse disposable contacts
- Use contacts after they've expired
- Rub eyes due to sleep deprivation
- Touch your eyes with unwashed hands
- Have skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis, meibomian gland dysfunction, or rosacea
Signs and symptoms
Stye sizes vary from as tiny as a pimple to as large as a pea. No matter the size, it can lead to inflamed irritation and red eyelids.
Other symptoms include:
- Tenderness and tearing of the eye
- Crusting of the margins of the eyelids
- Burning sensation
- Itching and soreness of the eye
- Blurry vision
- Discharge of mucus from the eye
- Sensitivity to light
- Discomfort when blinking
- A red lump like a pimple or boil on your eyelid
- The feeling of a foreign object in the eye or grittiness
- Swelling of your eyelid or the entire eyelid
- Crusting along the eyelid.
Like a stye, a chalazion is an eyelid bump at the further back of the eyelid. It develops when the small oil glands close to the eyelashes are blocked.
However, it is not painful and isn't caused by bacteria, but they are treated similarly.
Will a stye go away on its own?
Styes are primarily harmless and don't affect the ability to see clearly.
They are common for all genders and races, although they are prone in adults compared to children because of oil gland thickness.
In many cases, styes clear up after several weeks, and if it doesn't, seek medical attention.
Consult a doctor if:
- The stye persists and does not improve within a week or two of self-care.
- Another stye develops soon after successful treatment of a stye.
- Your eye is swollen shut.
- Vision problems arise
- The inflammation extends to other parts of the face.
- The eyelid bump gets large or painful.
- Your entire eyelid is red, or the eye itself becomes red.
- Blisters have formed on your eyelid.
- You have scaling or crusting on the eyelids.
- You develop light sensitivity or have excessive tears.
- Your eyelid bump bleeds or produces pus.
Stubborn styes require an immediate visit to a doctor for a thorough examination. They will need your medical history and an account of the symptoms you've been experiencing.
A procedure to lance a stye and clean out bacteria can also be done under an anesthetic numbing of the area.
Antibiotic eye drops, creams, pills, or ointments are prescribed to keep the bacteria from spreading.
Holding a warm compress gently against the eyelid helps alleviate symptoms and makes the pus come out readily.
The water should not be too hot, and the pressure must be moderate. Hold the compress on the eyelid for 10-15 minutes thrice or four times daily for better results.
Using green tea moistened in warm water may also be beneficial as it contains natural antioxidants that break the cell wall of bacteria and eliminate them.
Massages in combination with lid wipes promote drainage and go a long way. Massage the area gently with clean hands and once draining stops, keep the site clean and avoid touching.
What eye drops are suitable for a stye?
In most cases, styes go away independently, but you should look into recurring infections.
The doctor may make a small incision to try and drain an intestinal stye under anesthesia.
If the stye perseveres, they may prescribe antibiotic eye drops, cream, or ointment, but oral antibiotics are the remedy if the infection goes overboard.
When the stye is internal, eye drops may not be best, and oral antibiotics are preferable. An additional eye drop is essential if the stye has a discharge that drains into the eye.
Our Pristine spray with HOCL is all-natural and works as an alternative eye drop, perfect for this situation.
Alternatively, the doctor may give steroid injections into the stye to reduce inflammation.
Often, the doctor discusses your medical history to give the right antibiotic drops, pills, or creams, such as:
After the stye goes away, ensure to complete your dosage to prevent the problem from recurrence.
How do I stop getting styes (home remedies)?
Generally, styes are not contagious. However, if a household member has a stye, small amounts of bacteria can be spread through pillows, towels, and washcloths.
For this reason, washing your hands before and after touching a stye during cleaning or irritation is good.
Below are ways to help minimize and prevent eye infections:
- Wash your face to remove dirt and makeup before going to bed.
- Wash when removing contact lenses and after
- Keep contacts clean and disinfected with disinfectant and lens cleaning solution.
- Don't reuse disposable contacts.
- Throw away eye makeup every 2-3 months and never share it with anyone else to reduce the risk of recurrent eye infections
- Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often, before and after touching your face and eyes using soap and warm water or hand sanitizer containing alcohol
- Take medications to relieve itchiness from hay fever or allergies
- Treat and manage blepharitis, rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, and meibomian gland dysfunction
- Use warm compresses regularly to prevent styes from developing or coming back
Why using eye drops for eyelid bumps isn't the best option
Eye drops have many valuable effects, but these are some unwanted effects; however, not everyone experiences them.
The side effects may increase as your body adjusts to new medicine and if the following consequences occur, talk to your doctor for medical attention.
- Swelling of the eye
- Unusual tiredness or weakness
- General body discomfort
- Burning, dry, or itching eyes
- Discharge, excessive tearing
- Painful, red, sore eyes
- Lower back or side pain
- Fever, chills, or coughs
- Sore throat and voice changes
- Trouble with swallowing
- Blurry or decreased vision
- Body aches or pain
- Chest tightness or congestion
Some side effects may not need medical attention and go away as the body adjusts to treatments and medicines.
Always consult your doctor for medical advice on preventing or reducing the side effects.
Try Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) to reduce and prevent styes
Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl) occurs naturally within our immune system and is released when the body encounters bacteria to fight them off.
As a natural disinfectant, HOCL is used in different ways to provide eye care as it relieves various eye problems such as dry eye, stye, and meibomian gland dysfunction.
Additionally, HOCL is a natural antimicrobial agent working to reduce the number of harmful bacteria around the eyelids and eyelashes while leaving the beneficial bacteria.
PurClarity Lid and Lash Cleanser Spray with HOCL helps to reduce inflammation caused by bacteria around the eyelids and controls symptoms of stye.
Also, it reduces itchiness, facilitates contact-wearing intolerances, is perfect for sensitive skin, and alleviates other eyelid and eyelash irritations.
Spray our Pristine with HOCL directly onto your closed eyelids or a cotton pad and gently rub along the eyelid and eyelash margins.
Ensure not to do the rubbing excessively. Our product is safe for long-term daily usage with pure, alcohol-free, preservative-free, and fragrance-free properties.
Styes are common and can be painful, but in most cases, they aren't a cause for concern.
They only require good eyelid hygiene management and treatment and can sometimes go away independently.
Complications can be associated with styes like cysts or the infection spreading but both are rare and can be treated in case of occurrence.
Doctors provide antibiotic ointments and drops when the styes persist and recommend home remedies to treat inflammation.
For this reason, there is no need to miss work or school because of styes.