Styes

What Causes Styes?

A stye is a very common infection of the eyelid that is rarely serious, although it is typically painful^1^. Styes are painful swellings caused by bacteria that gradually grow in the root of an eyelash.

Symptoms of Styes

Typically, the first thing you will notice is a tender lump that resembles a pimple near the root of your eyelash^2^. Your eye may be watery, and the eyelid may look red^3^. Over the course of a few days, the lump may grow, becoming more painful and swollen^3^. It may then just shrink in size and disappear, or it may burst and discharge the contents first^2^. This is nothing to worry about, but do keep it clean and it will usually just resolve itself^2^.

Treatment for Styes

Styes generally require no treatment, but may resolve faster if you apply a warm compress for 10 minutes, up to four times a day^2^. Usually, it takes about a week from the time they emerge to the time they fully heal^2^.

You can help to prevent styes by keeping your eyelids clean^3^ and doing your best not to rub your eyes, and if you are concerned that you are experiencing persistent or frequent styes, consult your eye care professional for advice.

  1. Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS. Styes. Available at: [http://www.moorfields.nhs.uk/condition/styes]
  2. WebMD Boots. Stye: Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. Available at: [http://www.webmd.boots.com/eye-health/guide/stye-symptoms-diagnosis-treatment]
  3. NHS. Stye. (2016) Available at: [http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stye/Pages/introduction.aspx]
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