A stye (hordeolum) is a tender red bump on the edge of your eyelid.
A stye happens when a gland on the edge of your eyelid gets infected. When it occurs inside or under the eyelid, it's called an internal hordeolum.
The infection is most often caused by a bacteria or germ called staph (Staphylococcus aureus).
You are more likely to get a stye if you:
Have had one before
Wear contact lenses
Are not keeping your eye area clean
Use eye makeup that is old or contaminated
Have other eye conditions such as an inflamed or infected eyelid (blepharitis)
Have other conditions such as rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, or diabetes
Each person’s symptoms may vary. Symptoms may include:
Swelling, redness, pain, or tenderness of the eyelid
Feeling like there is something in your eye
Being bothered by bright light
Tearing and crusting of the eye
The symptoms of a stye may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider to be sure.
In most cases your healthcare provider will be able to tell that you have a stye by looking at it.
You will usually not need to take any tests.
In most cases, a stye will go away on its own.
There are some things you can do to treat the stye at home. These include:
Putting a warm, wet cloth (compress) on your eyelid for 5 to 10 minutes. This should be done 3 to 5 times a day.
Washing your hands often
Washing your face daily, including the eye area
Not touching the area
Not squeezing the stye
Not wearing makeup until the infection heals
Your healthcare provider may also:
Give you special bacteria-fighting (antibiotic) creams or ointments to put on the area. Only certain ones are safe to use near your eyes.
Refer you to an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) if the stye does not go away.
To prevent a stye, you should:
Wash your hands often
Wash your face and eye area
Be careful when using and removing eye makeup
Call your healthcare provider if you:
Notice redness or swelling of your eyelid
Have pain in your eyelid
Feel like something is in your eye
A stye (hordeolum) is a tender red bump on the edge of the eyelid.
It's an infection of a gland of the eyelid.
The infection is most often caused by bacteria called staph (Staphylococcus aureus).
The most common symptoms are redness and swelling of the eyelid.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
Know the reason for your visit and what you want to happen.
Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
Bring someone with you to help you ask questions and remember what your provider tells you.
At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you.
Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed, and how it will help you. Also know what the side effects are.
Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways.
Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
Know what to expect if you do not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
If you have a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
Know how you can contact your provider if you have questions.