A sty, known medically as a "hordeolum," is a small inflamed growth that appears in the corner of the eye or the edge of the eyelid. A sty is harmless and will usually go away on its own within a few days. If it is in a sensitive part of the eye or has swollen very large, a sty may prevent you from blinking or seeing clearly. Home remedies can quicken the healing time of a sty.
Prepare an eye soak for the afflicted area of your eye or eyelid. Although the soak is only water, it will help bring the pus or fluid, which is what causes swelling, out of the sty. Dip a cotton ball in warm water and hold it gently against the sty for ten minutes. Do not squeeze or pop the sty, or you risk rupturing blood vessels or damaging tissue. Continue applying warm water to the eye daily until the sty has diminished in size and dried up. You can use the eye soak in conjunction with the tea-bag remedy below for best results.
Chamomile tea contains soothing herbs that will help reduce swelling and pain as well as draw out the moisture of the sty. Place a chamomile tea bag in a cup of warm water for several seconds. Remove the tea bag and let it cool until it is comfortable to put on the eye but still warm. Wring out the bag slightly and place directly on the afflicted area. Leave the tea bag on your eye until it has got cold. Repeat as needed for pain and at least once per day to draw moisture out of the sty, allowing the pus and fluid to rise to the top of the sore.
If you are having trouble seeing or blinking, if the sty is very painful or if the area is otherwise getting in the way of your everyday activities, make an appointment with your doctor. Dermatologists, eye doctors and general practitioners are qualified to look at your sty and give you a prescription medication to speed healing time and prevent infection. Usually, a doctor will prescribe an antibiotic cream for this purpose. Use the cream until the sty is completely gone, or follow your doctor's instructions. A doctor may also lance or drain the sty at the office to reduce swelling and pressure.