Styes on your eyelid are both incredibly common and incredibly uncomfortable. They seem to occur at the most inopportune times. I want to go over some common causes and give you some tips for how to get rid of styes quickly. By the way, I’m going to say Stye a lot; but that’s NOT actually the term…it’s hordeolum. But, I digress….
This is the eye school blog, with me Dr. D, where I teach you about products and treatments related to dry eye syndrome and eye beauty.
I’m an eye doctor that treats patients with dry eye and I pay special attention to makeup and skincare, I even have an esthetician that I work closely with in my practice. I’m obsessed with helping you achieve beautiful, comfortable healthy eyes.
So Can You Cure a Hordeolum at Home?
So why do styes occur in the first place and what are they? Stye is the common term for what we in the medical field call a hordeolum or a chalazion. Hordeolums can be internal or external but either way it’s an infection within the meibomian gland. An internal hordeolum occurs deeper in the gland and manifests as a bump on the eyelid.
Whereas an external hordeolum manifests more anterior in the gland and is closer to the lid margin.
My first recommendation is hot compresses early and often! One of the best things you can do is to start hot compresses as soon as you feel a stye coming on. My pro tip for a hot compress is two boil an egg. You can use this egg wrapped in a dish cloth and you want to use the hot compress and touch as often as possible for the first day or so.
Another tip is to boil a small potato and you can use that in the same fashion. However be very cautious with the boiled egg boiled potato method as you could easily burn your eyelid. We certainly don’t want that to happen. Of course you can always use available warm compresses like an octave mask or a Bruder mask which will be kilo.
Next you should always cleanse the lid margin well and often. Your stye likely occurred because of an excess of bacteria on the lid margin. Now that may have occurred because you touched your eyelid with either your fingers or a make up one that had bacteria on it, or it could have happened because of an overpopulation on the lid margin itself.
Therefore I have found it very helpful to recommend my patients cleanse their lid margin. There are two great ways to do this. The first is tea tree oil. Now I don’t recommend tea tree oil on a day-to-day basis unless you’re under the care of a doctor, however when you have an active stye this is a helpful way to clean the lid margin and potentially help reduce bacterial overpopulation.
Another product that works very well it’s called hypochlorous acid and goes by several different commercial names like Ivanova or we love eyes.hypochlorite acid is really great for killing bacterial pathogens on the kid's margin. While the stye is actively infected I would use these several times a day.
Hot compresses and lid scrubs are about the extent of what you can do at home when you have a sty however used quickly when it first starts they can be very effective without ever having to see your doctor this next portion of the video is going to be the things that your doctor might offer you to help get rid of that internal hordeolum or stye faster.
The Next Phases of Stye Treatment
If you cannot treat the stye at home, then a next step may be Antibiotics; both oral and topical. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to help get rid of your stye more quickly. We often use topical and or oral antibiotics. Typically you will need to take a seven day 7 to 10 day course of antibiotics that will be determined by your doctor. Make sure to take the entire course to reduce the risk of antibacterial resistance. I like to recommend that my patients use the drops topically in there when prescribed topical antibiotics and rub the access over the top of the lesion.
Also steroids are used as either topical drops or a kenalog Injection. Doctors will use steroids to help with getting rid of styes. Your doctor might prescribe a combination antibiotic steroid or a steroid drop on its own. It is also possible to inject the lesion with steroids and sometimes this will cause them to resolve more quickly and avoid you having to have surgery.
Two other excellent options for eye stye treatment are intense pulsed light (IPL) or photobiomodulation. Intense pulsed light and photobiomodulation are light therapies that your doctor might recommend for getting rid of a hordeolum.
Intense pulsed light in particular is extremely effective at breaking these oils up, reducing bacteria on the lid and reducing the inflammation. I’ve regularly used IPL in my clinic to get rid of styes or hordeolums. It has been very effective in getting rid of the stye within 1 to 2 treatments. It has even been effective for longer standing hordeolums that have been there a while; we’re often able to reduce the size of the bump on the eyelid simply by using IPL. Some doctors are using Photobiomodulation as well which is LED light therapy that can be done in the office.
Understand Chalazion Treatment Options
Once a hordeolum is out of its active infected stage when there’s no longer any redness hotness tenderness to the lesion it’s just a solid bump in your eyelid that you can feel, this is called a Chalazion. A Chalazion will not respond to the do it yourself methods I described above. Chalazion may respond to heat some, however in general if it has been there a while you will need intervention whether it’s medicine your doctor prescribes, IPL or surgery.
When all else fails, the option is surgery. The surgery is often done by general Ophthalmologist as well as oculoplastic surgeon so if you do see an optometrist for your day today eye care they may refer you to one of their comanaging surgeons to have the surgery done.
In my clinical experience - early care is key. In all my years of treating styes one thing I can tell you is that early intervention is key, do not wait for it to simmer and get worse because the sooner you get hot compresses and treatment on board the quicker you can get that stye gone.
A Case Study in Eye Stye Treatment
As an example, my associate recently had a stye pop up on her eyelid. She started with hot compresses. I believe she even had access to antibiotic eye drops before she was able to get into the clinic.
When she presented, we went ahead and did a course of Intense Pulsed Light(IPL) and then let her sit under our photobiomodulation device. It's an LED called “celluma”. She sat under that for 30 minutes following her IPL.
She noticed immediate results and within 12 hours her internal hordeolum was gone and she felt much better. She was amazed as she had been treating her stay using traditional methods for a couple of days before presenting to our clinic and was just astounded at how quickly the IPL treatment helped her’s results.
I hope this was informational and helpful in terms of treating your own Hordeolums and styes at home. I know if it were me, obviously I would start with the treatment I described at home but as soon as I could get into my clinic! I would have an IPL treatment done as quickly as possible and I would sit under the celluma device as well!
Good luck getting rid of your stye!