How Long Does a Stye Last? How to Treat a Stye?

How long does a stye last

How long does a stye last? How long will it take to go away? An eye stye can become extremely uncomfortable at times. Usually, a stye will last for three to four days, but sometimes it can take up to 10 days for a stye to go away on its own.

A stye is an infection that makes a firm, red lump appear on the outer eyelid. The stye infection is caused by bacteria. You may wonder ‘what does a stye look like?’ Well, it looks like a red pimple or a small boil.

How long does a stye last shouldn’t be a concern as it gets filled with pus and subsides in a few days. Sometimes the stye also develops on the inner eyelid. It is a little painful and causes discomfort. Styes can be treated with some home remedies.

Let’s see the causes of stye and how long does it take an eye stye to go away completely.

Related Reading: Eyelash Mites (Demodex): Causes and Treatments


What causes Styes?

The causes of styes are listed below:

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  • Staphylococci bacteria may be responsible for a stye. This bacteria exist on the skin of the eyelid and is harmless. But if it gets trapped with the dead skin cells on the edge of the eyelid, it causes swelling. Other bacteria may also be responsible for stye.
  • Poor eye hygiene can also cause a stye. Transfer of staphylococci bacteria from the mucus in the nose to the eye through touching, with contaminated hands, can favor the spread of this bacteria.
  • Avoiding washing the eyes or splashing water on the eyes at regular intervals can make germs accumulate in the eyes and lead to a stye.
  • Not disinfecting contact lenses before wearing them again can also cause a stye.
  • Using old or expired cosmetics can cause an eye infection.
  • Hormonal changes due to stress or tension may be one of the causes of stye.
  • People who suffer from chronic redness at the edge of the eye are more prone to get stye.
  • Styes are caused by stress especially when you are tired or have worked out excessively. In such cases, our body excretes certain hormones or chemicals that pop up a lump on your eyelid.

How long does a Stye Last?

Stye in the eyeWhen you see your face in the morning and you notice a sudden popped up stye on your eyelid, the first question that worries you is ‘how long does a stye last?’

If you are worried about ‘how long does it take for a stye to drain’ let us tell you, stye will rupture, drain and cure on its own.

Styes usually subside on their own in a few days. If you treat it well by applying hot cloth through the day or you seek a doctor, it may cure even faster.

In most cases, you need to see to it that you do not pop it like you would do to a pimple. If the stye does not heal on its own and enlarges over the time, you need to see an ophthalmologist soon.

He may prescribe an antibiotic ointment. In extreme cases, a medical procedure may be performed on the stye to drain the pus and remove the infected tissue.


How Long Does a Stye Last? Are Styes Contagious?

There is a debate among the experts about the contagiousness of styes. A stye generally develops when the bacteria in the eyelid region multiplies.

As this bacteria is non- transferable from one person to another, some experts believe that stye is non-contagious.

Few experts believe that if another person comes in contact with the infected person and touches his eyes with infected hands he is prone to develop a stye. But this happens rarely.

Some people still believe that stye is contagious. The infected person, therefore, wears glasses to prevent any dust particles or germs from entering into the eyes.

Related Reading: Is Tonsillitis Contagious? How Long Will It Be Contagious?


How to Get Rid of Styes?Stye treatments

By now we have understood that how long does a stye last is not a matter of concern as it subsides on its own.

Nevertheless, we shall understand how to get rid of stye with some easy home remedies.

Here are few home remedies which can effectively cure styes:

  • Take a clean thin cloth and place it in warm water. Apply this to the affected area. Repeat this process for about 10 minutes twice or thrice a day. It will drain the pus.
  • Add a few coriander seeds to a cup of boiling water. After it cools apply this solution to the stye thrice a day.
  • Add some alum granules to a cup of water and apply it to the infected area.
  • Placing cucumber slices on the swelling can give you much relief.
  • Application of tomato slices is also good for a stye.
  • Tea contains tannins and so placing a wet tea bag on the closed eyelid can work wonders for your stye.
  • You can crush a potato to make a paste and apply this paste on the eyelid.
  • Acacia leaves also have healing properties for swelling. Boil acacia leaves in water to make acacia healing solution. Apply this solution on the infected area.
  • Turmeric is the best solution for all infections. Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to two cups of boiling water. Strain it and apply it when it cools a bit.
  • Soaking a clove in water and rubbing on the eyelid also works wonders for the pain.
  • Aloe vera gel is one of the most popular herbal remedies. You can extract the gel from the plant and apply it on the stye.
  • Applying warm salt water with a cotton ball gives you a quick pain relief.
  • Guava leaves and parsley leaves also heal the infection. You can boil the leaves in water and apply the solution on the eyelid.

Related Reading: Pain Behind Eye: Common Causes and Natural Treatments

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Some Preventive Measures for Stye

If you take some preventive measures, you do not need to worry about stye and how long will the stye last. Following are few preventive measures that can go a long way in avoiding infection:

  • Hand hygiene is inevitable to keep away from an eye infection. Wash and sterilize your hand regularly throughout the day. A sanitizer is recommended.
  • Avoid touching your eyes with your hands frequently throughout the day. It can be the main reason for germ transfer.
  • Always use cosmetics of good quality. You should always keep a check on the expiry date of the same.
  • If you wear contact lenses, change them if they expire. Also sterilize them properly twice or thrice a day and then wear them. Remove the lenses when you are going to sleep.
  • If you have an infection in one eye keep away from contact lenses as they can transfer the bacteria to the other eye too.
  • If you get blepharitis, contact a doctor.
  • Do not squeeze a stye as this can worsen the infection.
  • Also, avoid eye make up till the Stye subsides.

We hope this article has cleared all your queries related to stye like how long does a stye last, the treatments, and preventive measures you need to take. 

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Sources:
‘Stye”, Home remedies web site, last accessed on January 16, 2018; http://www.home-remedies-for-you.com/remedy/Stye.html
‘What causes a Stye’, Stye web site, last accessed on January 16, 2018; http://www.stye.com/about-styes/stye-causes/
Dr. Aizman, ‘Can a Stye be caused by stress’, Empireretina web site, last accessed on January 16, 2018;http://www.empireretina.com/practice_news/can-stye-caused-stress/
Liz Segre, ‘Eye Stye Facts: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment’, All about vision web site, last accessed on January 16, 2018; http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/styes.htm

Dr. Mark Williams, MD

Dr. Mark Williams is a leader in alternative and integrated medicines. He is a medical writer and reviewer at Daily Health Cures. He received his medical degree in 1988. Mark brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Daily Health Cures editorial team. He is a natural health advisor and provides a variety of alternative healing techniques in his practice.