Eye Stye: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Eye Stye DiagramA stye, or hordeolum, is red lump that develops under the eyelid or at the base of an eyelash. Most styes develop from a bacterial infection in the eyelash root. The inflamed follicle swells and causes pain and tenderness.

Symptoms of a Stye

  • A pimple-like bump along the edge of the eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Tearing in the affected eye
  • Scratchy feeling
  • Blurred vision
  • Appearance of pus in the center of the lump

What Causes a Stye

Styes can affect adults and children of all ages, but you are more likely to develop a stye if you have skin problems like acne, rosacea or seborrheic dermatitis or if you’ve ever had a stye in the past. People who have blepharitis are also at increased risk. Blepharitis is an inflammatory condition of the eyelid margins.

Are Styes Contagious?

Even though styes are caused by an infection, they aren’t contagious. Often, styes will go away without any treatment from a physician. You can treat a stye at home by applying a warm compress frequently.

If the swelling and pain don’t go away after a few days, call your ophthalmologist. You may need a topical antibiotic or steroid eye drop to eliminate the infection.

Treatment for a Stye

If you have a suspicious bump on your eyelid or at the base of your eyelash that is causing you pain or vision problems, call your ophthalmologist for an appointment. Our board-certified ophthalmologists are ready to meet your vision needs, so click here for a list of physicians in your area.

Related Resources:

Find a Physician
Eye Conditions
Preventative Eye Care