A stye is the term used to refer to infected or inflamed bumps near the eye, usually in and around the secretory glands of the eyelids. A stye can be fairly painful and the red, swollen appearance can be unsightly. However, there are a number of home remedies you can experiment with to try to reduce the swollen appearance of the stye. One possible way to soothe the ache of a painful stye is to apply a tea bag to the eye area.
Pick the right tea bag. Green and black teas have tannins that can help to diminish the stye, while herbal teas that contain goldenseal, echinacea or eyebright herbs can also assist with the healing process.
Soak the tea bag for a few minutes in boiling water. This will activate the compounds in the tea/herbs.
Remove the tea bag from the water and set aside to cool. Check the temperature of the tea bag with your wrist, and when it is warm without being hot, place it over the eye area for a few minutes.
Chill the wet tea bags in the fridge for an hour before applying if you would prefer the cooling relief of a chilled tea bag on your eye area.
Repeat the application process up to four times per day. Use a fresh tea bag each time to prevent reapplication of skin bacteria to your eye area.
Consult with a doctor if the stye does not go away on its own after a few days. You may need antibiotics or additional medical treatment. Do not try to pop the stye, as this can cause more complications than waiting for the stye to shrink on its own.
Tucker Cummings is a freelance writer based in New England. She holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of New Hampshire and is a member of the Association of Professional Business Writers. Cummings is also a food writer and curates the blog, Brave New Breakfast.