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Stye

A stye is a small lump on the eyelid caused by an infection.

The main symptom of a stye is a small, painful lump on your eyelid.

Styes usually go away on their own. You can ease symptoms by putting a warm flannel on the affected eye and using painkillers.

Read more on the NHS website.

The main symptom of a stye is a small, painful lump on your eyelid.

Check if you have a stye

Stye on upper eyelidA stye is a small, painful lump on or inside the eyelid or around the eye.

Swollen stye leaking pus on upper eyelidThe skin may be red, swollen and filled with yellow pus like a pimple.

Stye on lower eyelidYour eye may be red and watery but your vision should not be affected.

A stye usually only affects 1 eye, but it's possible to have more than 1 at a time.

It's probably not a stye if:

Read more on the NHS website.

Styes usually go away on their own. You can ease symptoms by putting a warm flannel on the affected eye and using painkillers.

Self-care

To reduce swelling and help the stye heal:

  1. Soak a clean flannel in warm water.
  2. Hold it against your eye for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Repeat this 3 or 4 times a day.

To relieve the pain, take painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. Do not give aspirin to children under 16.

Avoid wearing contact lenses and eye make-up until the stye has burst and healed.

Important

Do not try to burst a stye or remove an eyelash yourself. This can spread the infection.

Medical treatments

If you have a stye, your GP may:

  • burst the stye with a thin, sterilised needle
  • remove the eyelash closest to the stye
  • refer you to an eye specialist in hospital

Read more on the NHS website.