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:
- Red, swollen lump. The first symptoms of a sty are a red, swollen, painful lump that is tender to the touch.
- No vision problems. While a sty can cause your eye to tear up, it won’t cause vision problems.
- 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.
- 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.
- Healing takes a couple of days. Most stys will resolve within a couple of days.
- 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.