A sty is a bacterial infection near the root of an eyelash. It is a very common infection that is rarely serious, although it is typically painful.

What Causes Styes?

Styes are formed from bacteria that gradually grow in the root of an eyelash.

Symptoms of Styes

Typically, the first thing you will notice is a lump that resembles a pimple near the root of your eyelash. After that, the lump may grow, becoming more painful and swollen over the course of several days. Eventually, the lump may burst, and drain.

Treatment for Styes

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

You can prevent sties by doing your best not to rub your eyes, and keeping your eyelids clean. If your sties are a concern or have been occurring more frequently, it is important to keep your eyelids free of bacteria and talk to your eye care professional.

Stye or Chalazion?

If what you think is a stye becomes a painless, hard, rounded bump further away from your eyelid, it may be a chalazion. A chalazion is a blocked oil gland on the eyelid that with the same treatment described above, may last a few months. If your symptoms do not improve your eye care professional may have other treatments options available.

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