When you’re living under lockdown with little to no contact with the outside environment, the only thing that seems plausible at this time is social media. People spend hours browsing and moving from one social account to another, whether it’s Netflix or Instagram. Allocating an extensive amount of time surfing means exposing your eyes to unwanted rays, which becomes straining for us. And taking proper care of our eyes is usually the last thing on our list during the quarantine.
Over-time, this improper care can lead to specific other issues of the eye that can sometimes become problematic, especially during the current situation where everyone is restricted to their homes. Styes are one such concern that tends to affect many people.
What is a Stye?
A stye or hordeolum is a red bump or pimple that forms on either your upper or lower eyelids, mostly at the edge. Various small oil glands around the eyelash area can trap dead skin, dirt, or accumulate excess oil. The gland gets clogged, causing the bacteria to thrive inside it, eventually leading to inflammation.
What Causes a Stye?
As mentioned earlier, a Stye is caused by a bacterial infection due to blocked oil glands in the eye. The bacteria that is mostly responsible for this condition is called Staphylococcus aureus. Sometimes stress and hormonal changes can lead to a stye.
What Are the Risk Factors for Developing a Stye?
The following factors are more likely to develop the condition:
- Previously contracted a Stye.
- Use of contact lens.
- Improper eye care.
- Using old cosmetic products.
- Having rosacea or diabetes.
- Having an inflamed/infected eye such as in blepharitis.
What Are the Symptoms of a Stye?
Following are some symptoms of a stye:
- Tenderness or swelling of the eyelid.
- Light botheration.
- Eyelid pain.
- Red lump on the eye resembling a pimple.
- Tearing of the eyes.
What Are the Home Remedies to Treat a Eye Stye?
When you first contract a Stye, the recommendation is to place a warm compress over it. This is done by soaking a clean cloth in warm water, wringing out the excess, and then carefully placing it over the affected area. Please keep it in place for 10-15 minutes and repeat this at least three to five times a day.
The warmth eases any pain and helps the pus drain, which then relieves the symptoms.
Clean the Eyelid
Because the infection is caused due to bacteria being trapped, it is advised to clean your eyelids. Take some lukewarm water, mix it with tear-free baby shampoo, and use a clean cloth to wipe your eyelids. An alternative is to use a saline solution.
This will help prevent future styes as well as encourage drainage of pus.
A warm tea bag works similarly to the warm cloth compress. Take a tea bag and put it in boiling water, letting it sit for about a minute. Then take it out and wait for it to cool just enough to place on your eyelids comfortably. Remember to use a different one for each eye. Do this for five to ten minutes every day till the symptoms subside.
This will help decrease the swelling and aid in antibacterial action.
Avoid Makeup and Lens
It is advised to avoid applying makeup as the bacteria might get transferred on to the brushes or sponges that you’re using, and there are chances of infecting the other eye.
The same goes for contact lens as the bacteria might spread to the lens and worsen the condition.
Try staying makeup-free and avoid using eyesight glasses until you heal completely. Also, be aware of any old cosmetic products and replace them with fresh ones.
Pain killers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help ease the symptoms. Always start with a lower dosage, and if you are unsure of it or the symptoms get worse, consult a physician.
Massaging helps with the drainage process, especially if it is paired with the warm compresses. Make sure your hands are clean while you do it.
There are various stye ointments available which you can apply to the affected area. But avoid using topical steroids due to chances of any side effects. Make sure you use only those ointments which are formulated exclusively for styes and are safe for the eye. Please read the instructions carefully and use them, as mentioned.
When to Visit a Doctor
If your symptoms get worse or do not improve, it is best to consult a physician. Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic cream or drops to help with the infection. It is imperative to visit your doctor if your vision gets disturbed or if you need professional drainage of the pus.
Managing a stye at home is quite doable, especially if you take proper care of the affected area. The only requirement is persistence and making sure it does not get worse. If you follow the guidelines mentioned above correctly, you will be able to relieve yourself of the condition in no time