A sty (also spelled stye) is a red tender bump on the eyelid that is caused by an acute infection of the oil glands of the eyelid. A stye can also be a complication of blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids). It may be small, but its impact is large. It is painful and irritating and can make you self-conscious. Most styes are left alone to heal on their own and can clear up within two weeks. To get rid of a stye and the irritation associated with it, you can use warm tea bags and compresses at home. Tea leave contain a substance called “tannins,” which contain properties that are anti-bacterial and astringent in nature. These tannins in the tea help draw out the poisonous infection from the eye.
1. Remove any eye makeup.
2. Put a dash of salt in a cup of warm water and rinse your eye out with it. You will want to do this over a sink or with a towel underneath your face, as you will probably drip the solution.
3. Boil a tea bag in hot water for three minutes. When the tea bag has cooled enough to touch, lay down in a comfortable spot and place the tea bag over the affected eye and leave it on for 15 minutes.
4. Rinse your eye out with salt water once again. Do not rub your eye, but rather pat it dry if you feel the need to dry it. Repeat steps 1 through 3 at least three times per day if possible.
5. Apply a warm compress (warm, wet washcloths will work) to the eyes for 10 minutes, four times a day if you do not have access to tea bags.
6. Apply an effective overnight treatment by boiling a tea bag, waiting for it to be cool enough to touch and securing it to your eye to leave on overnight. You can do this by putting it under an eye mask or medical tape. Cover the part of the tea bag that is away from your eye with plastic before using the eye mask or tape.