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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

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A stye is a small, painful lump on or inside the eyelid or around the eye.

Stye 1
The skin around the stye may be swollen and red and the stye may be filled with yellow pus. The redness may be harder to see on brown and black skin.

Stye 3
Your 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.

Do not burst a stye

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

Medical treatments

If you have a stye, the 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.