10 Foods To Eat & 6 Foods To Avoid When You Have Stye

by Ella

A stye, medically known as a hordeolum, is a painful and unsightly condition that affects the eyelid. Typically caused by a bacterial infection of the oil glands at the base of the eyelashes, a stye can cause discomfort, redness, and swelling. While medical treatment is often necessary, nutrition can play a significant role in supporting your body’s natural healing processes and reducing the risk of stye recurrence. In this comprehensive article, we will explore what foods you should eat to aid in stye management and which foods to avoid to promote a speedier recovery.

Understanding Styes

Before we delve into the specifics of dietary recommendations for stye management, let’s gain a better understanding of this common eye condition.


Types of Styes: Styes typically fall into two categories: external styes (located on the outside of the eyelid) and internal styes (forming on the inside of the eyelid). Both can cause similar symptoms, including pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness.


Causes: Styes are primarily caused by bacterial infections, often due to Staphylococcus aureus. These bacteria infect the oil glands at the base of the eyelashes, leading to inflammation and the development of a stye.


Treatment: Most styes can be managed at home with warm compresses and good hygiene. However, severe or recurrent styes may require medical intervention, including antibiotic treatment or drainage by a healthcare professional.


Foods to Eat for Stye Management

A well-balanced diet can boost your immune system and help your body fight off infections like styes. Here are some foods you should incorporate into your diet to support stye management:

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce eye inflammation associated with styes. Incorporate fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and trout into your diet. Alternatively, consider flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts as plant-based sources of omega-3s.

2. Vitamin A: Vitamin A is essential for maintaining healthy eye tissues and supporting the immune system. Foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, and kale.

3. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is known for its immune-boosting properties. It can help your body fight off infections more effectively. Include citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits in your diet, as well as bell peppers and strawberries.

See Also: Top 18 Vitamin C-Rich Fruits

4. Zinc: Zinc plays a vital role in immune function and wound healing. Foods high in zinc include lean meats, poultry, dairy products, nuts, and whole grains.

See Also: Top 20 Foods Highest in Zinc & Expert Tips

5. Protein: Protein is essential for tissue repair and immune function. Incorporate lean protein sources like chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, and legumes into your meals.

6. Fruits and Vegetables: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support overall health and immune function. Opt for colorful options such as berries, tomatoes, and leafy greens.

7. Garlic: Garlic has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help combat the infection and inflammation associated with styes.

8. Green Tea: Green tea contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can support the immune system and reduce inflammation. Drink unsweetened green tea for maximum benefits.

9. Turmeric: Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Consider adding turmeric to your cooking or taking turmeric supplements after consulting with a healthcare professional.

10. Water: Staying hydrated is essential for overall health and can help flush toxins from your body. Ensure you drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day.

Foods to Avoid for Stye Management

Certain foods and dietary habits can exacerbate inflammation and potentially prolong the healing process of a stye. Here are foods and practices to avoid:

1. Fried and Processed Foods: High-fat and processed foods can contribute to inflammation. Avoid fried foods, fast food, and highly processed snacks.

2. Excessive Sugar: A diet high in sugar can lead to inflammation and weaken the immune system. Minimize your intake of sugary snacks, candies, and sugary drinks.

3. Caffeine: Excessive caffeine intake can lead to dehydration, which can exacerbate eye discomfort. Limit your consumption of caffeinated beverages like coffee and energy drinks.

4. Alcohol: Alcohol can dehydrate the body and weaken the immune system. While occasional, moderate alcohol consumption is usually fine, it’s best to avoid alcohol during the acute phase of a stye.

5. Dairy Products: Some people find that dairy products can increase mucus production and worsen eye discomfort. Consider reducing your dairy intake or opting for dairy alternatives like almond or soy milk if you notice such effects.

6. Spicy Foods: Spicy foods can cause eye irritation and discomfort. Avoid consuming foods with excessive spice levels during the acute phase of a stye.

Hygiene and Eye Care

In addition to dietary considerations, proper hygiene and eye care practices are crucial for stye management:

Warm Compresses: Apply a clean, warm compress to the affected eye for 10-15 minutes several times a day. This can help reduce swelling and promote drainage.

Cleanliness: Maintain good eye hygiene by washing your hands regularly and avoiding touching your eyes with dirty hands.

Avoid Squeezing: Do not attempt to squeeze or pop a stye, as this can worsen the infection and lead to complications.

Contact Lenses: If you wear contact lenses, switch to glasses during the acute phase of a stye to prevent further irritation.

Makeup and Eye Products: Avoid using eye makeup or other eye products during a stye’s active phase, as they can introduce bacteria and worsen the condition.

Replace Makeup: If you had a stye, replace any eye makeup or brushes that came into contact with the affected eye to prevent reinfection.

Seek Medical Attention: If the stye does not improve or worsens despite home treatment, or if you experience vision changes or severe pain, consult an eye specialist or healthcare provider for evaluation and treatment.


Styes can be uncomfortable and unsightly, but with proper care and attention to nutrition, you can support your body’s healing process and reduce the risk of recurrence. Incorporate foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to bolster your immune system and reduce inflammation. Avoid inflammatory foods, excessive sugar, caffeine, and alcohol during the acute phase of a stye. Additionally, prioritize good hygiene and eye care practices to prevent further irritation and complications. Remember that stye management may vary from person to person, so consult with a healthcare provider for personalized advice and treatment options if needed.



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