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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 5, 2022.

What is a stye?

A stye is a lump on the edge or inside of your eyelid caused by inflammation and an infection. A stye can form on your upper or lower eyelid. It usually goes away in 2 to 4 days.

What causes a stye?

A stye forms when bacteria causes inflammation and infection of a skin gland or follicle. A follicle is the place at the edge of the eyelid where the eyelash comes out. Styes form more often in children and in people who have an eye problem called blepharitis.

What are the signs and symptoms of a stye?

  • Warmth, redness, and swelling along your eyelid
  • Painful, pus-filled lump on your eyelid
  • A gritty feeling in your eye
  • Tearing more than usual
  • Sensitivity to light

How is a stye diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask you when you first noticed the lump. He will also ask you about your symptoms. He will check your eyelid carefully.

How is a stye treated?

  • Use warm compresses: This will help decrease swelling and pain. Wet a clean washcloth with warm water and place it on your eye for 10 to 15 minutes, 3 to 4 times each day or as directed.
  • Antibiotic medicine: This is given as an ointment to put into your eye. It is used to fight an infection caused by bacteria. Use as directed.

How can I manage my symptoms?

  • Keep your hands away from your eye: This helps to prevent the spread of infection to other parts of the eye. Wash your hands often with soap and dry with a clean towel. Do not squeeze the stye.
  • Do not use eye makeup: Do not wear eye makeup while you have a stye. Eye makeup may carry bacteria and cause another stye. Throw away eye makeup and brushes used to apply the makeup. Use new eye makeup after the stye has gone away. Do not share eye makeup with others.
  • Prevent another stye: Wash your face and clean your eyelashes every day. Remove eye makeup with makeup remover. This helps to completely remove eye makeup without heavy rubbing.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • You have redness and discharge around your eye, and your eye pain is getting worse.
  • Your vision changes.
  • The stye has not gone away within 7 days.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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