What is a Stye?

Styes are bumps that occur on the edge of the eyelids. Usually it is blocked oil gland (like a pimple) on your eyelid. Sometimes, however, it can be a bacterial infection that may require antibiotics. 

What are the symptoms of a Stye? 
  • Red bump, often painful, along the edge of the upper or lower eyelid near the base of the eyelashes

  • Swelling of the eyelid (sometimes the entire eyelid)

  • Crusting along the eyelid

  • Sensitivity to bright light

  • Sore, scratchy eye

  • Tearing of the eye

  • A feeling that there is something in the eye

  • Usually your vision is about the same although it may feel blurry or as if you are looking through a film 

What are the risk factors for a Stye?

Styes are very common and can happen to anyone. 

You may be prone to styes if you: 

  • Have had a sty before

  • Have blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids)

  • Have certain skin conditions, such as acne rosacea or seborrheic dermatitits

  • Have diabetes

  • Have dry skin

  • Are experiencing hormonal changes

  • Have high lipid levels (“bad” cholesterol)

How do you treat a stye?

Have a stye? Call now!

Most styes will go away on their own or with self-care, but it may take up to 2 weeks. 

Treat as follows:

  • Apply a warm washcloth to the eyelid. Apply for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, 3 to 5 times a day. Rewarm washcloth as needed by soaking it in warm water. Wring out excess water, then reapply to the eyelid

  • Gently wipe away eyelid drainage with mild soap such as Johnson’s baby shampoo and water, or eyelid wipes (available without a prescription in most drug stores).


  • Squeeze or pop a sty.

  • Rub or touch your eyelid.


A stye that does not show  signs of improvement  within 48 hours of self care may require medical treatment.

Treatments in the office include:

  • Antibiotic ointment to apply to the eyelid or antibiotic eye drops.

  • Occasionally antibiotic pills are needed if there are signs of infection. 

  • Steroid injection into the stye to reduce the swelling in the eyelid

  • Incision (under local anesthesia) to drain the stye