Preventive Measures to Help Keep Your Eye Stye-Free

washing hands with soap

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  • Sleeping with your eye makeup on may increase the chances of having a clogged eyelid gland, which ultimately leads to a stye, so make sure that you remove your makeup thoroughly before going to bed
  • You should also use clean handkerchiefs and tissues, especially if you’re planning to use them on your eyes — this helps prevent dirt from clogging your eyelid glands
  • Dry, flaky skin may block your oil glands and trigger a stye. To prevent this, make sure that you eat foods that are high in healthy fats, like avocados, pastured butter and grass fed meat

Styes are ugly and painful and, unfortunately, they’re also easy to acquire. Rubbing your eye with an unwashed hand is all it takes to increase your risk of developing this eyelid infection. Don’t lose hope, though, since there’s a variety of ways to keep your eye from falling victim to a stye.

Stye Prevention Is All About Improving Your Personal Hygiene

Styes develop due to a bacterial infection of clogged eyelid glands. With that in mind, you should follow these tips to avoid introducing bacteria into your eye and prevent your eyelid glands from becoming clogged up:1,2,3,4

Wash your hands before touching your eyes — Your hands not only contain invisible dirt, oil and grime, but they're also a breeding ground for bacteria, which is exactly why you should keep them away from your eyes or face.

If you really need to touch your eyes, make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly first. Use warm, running water and a mild soap.

Remove your eye makeup before bedtime Sleeping with your eye makeup on may increase the chances of having a clogged eyelid gland, which ultimately leads to a stye, so make sure that you remove your makeup thoroughly before going to bed.

Do not use old or dirty cosmetics and makeup tools — Eye makeups and tools are prone to bacterial buildup, so it's best to clean them regularly and replace them every six months to decrease your risk of having a stye.

If you've already had a stye, you should replace any eye makeup and cosmetic tools that you used during the flare-up, since there's a high chance that they've been contaminated with the Staphylococcus bacteria.

Do not share personal items with other people — Sharing is not always caring, especially when it comes to personal items that you use on your face, such as towels, handkerchief and makeup.

These personal items can transmit various types of germs and contaminants that may infect your eyes. A towel, for example, can be home to the Staphylococcus bacteria for hours and even up to months, putting you at risk of developing styes.5

Make sure that your handkerchiefs, towels and tissues are clean — A towel provides the perfect environment for different kinds of bacteria, since it has the ability to retain moisture. This is exactly why you should replace it after three to four uses.6

You should also use clean handkerchiefs and tissues, especially if you're planning to use them on your eyes — this helps prevent dirt from clogging your eyelid glands.

Disinfect your contact lenses — Using dirty contact lenses may deposit dirt inside the eyes, which may clog the Meibomian glands and put you at risk of internal styes.

When cleaning your contact lens, always rub it with your fingers before rinsing with a solution that's specifically made for it. Do not use tap water or saline solution for the rinse.

Additional Tips That You Can Follow to Prevent a Stye

In addition to adopting good personal hygiene habits, improving your overall well-being may also help prevent stye flare-ups. Here are some tips that you should follow:

Avoid dry skin — Dry, flaky skin may block your oil glands and trigger a stye. To prevent this, make sure that you eat foods that are high in healthy fats, like avocados, pastured butter and grass fed meat.

Address underlying health issues — People with underlying medical conditions, such as blepharitis, seborrheic dermatitis, diabetes and high serum lipids are found to be at a higher risk of developing a stye than the rest of the general population. If you have any of these illnesses, make sure that you work with your physician to manage your condition and prevent styes.7

Reduce your stress levels — People with higher stress levels may be more susceptible to styes, so you should learn how to manage your stress properly. Make sure that you're getting adequate sleep, and adopt an active lifestyle. You should also meditate to relieve your stress and anxiety, and allot time for doing activities that you enjoy.

MORE ABOUT STYE

Stye: Introduction

What Is a Stye?

Stye Symptoms

Stye Causes

Stye Treatment

Stye Prevention

How to Get Rid of a Stye

Is a Stye Contagious?

How Long Do Styes Last?

Stye FAQ



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