Is that a sty in your eye?

If you’ve noticed a red lump near your eyelid and it is causing you pain, it might be a sty (or stye). A sty is an infection of the eyelid caused by bacteria in the small oil glands of the eyelid. It causes a lump that may look like a pimple or a boil, plus pain and swelling. Here are some tips to identify and treat an eye sty:

  1. Red, swollen lump. The first symptoms of a sty are a red, swollen, painful lump that is tender to the touch.
  2. No vision problems. While a sty can cause your eye to tear up, it won’t cause vision problems.
  3. Treat with hot compress. A hot compress fifteen minutes per day will relieve pain. If the sty comes to a head, do not pop it like a pimple. Let it resolve on its own.
  4. A sty is contagious. Sty is caused by staphyloccal bacteria that’s found on the nose, but everyone has this bacteria on their body and can develop a sty at any time. However, if you come in contact with someone else’s eye via pillowcases, bedsheets, washcloths or other means, you can also develop a sty.
  5. Healing takes a couple of days. Most stys will resolve within a couple of days.
  6. Similar eye problems. If your eye bump does not exhibit the symptoms above, it may be blepharitis, a long-lasting eyelid inflammation; chalazion, a bump on the eye that is not painful; milia, a tiny white cyst; or another eye condition.

Speak with Your Doctor

Schedule an appointment with your doctor or visit Memorial ExpressCare if you are concerned about eye inflammation or it does not begin to resolve after 48 hours.

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