A stye (also called a sty or hordeolum) is characterized by tender bump on either upper or lower eyelid. The affected area is usually painful, and bump could be either inward or outward. It usually occurs at the edge of eyelid. Stye is the most frequently found eye infection and the cause is usually bacterial infection by staphylococcus.

Style is an infection of an oil gland in the eyelid. There are numerous oil glands inside the eyelid skin where oil is released through the small holes near eyelash. Whenever a gland is blocked such as by dust, the oil cannot be released causing a tiny lump on the eyelid. When combined with bacteria, it is usually inflamed and pus is developed causing pain and swelling around the eye. Causes of infection include:
  1. Frequent eye scratching causing contamination.
  2. Cosmetics are not removed thoroughly.
  3. Putting on or taking off contact lens with dirty hands.
At an early stage the eyelid is usually itchy with mild pain followed by swelling and pain on the eyelid. When pressed on the lump it is also painful. Pus spot should be apparent within 4-5 days. After pus oozing, the lump will disappear by itself. However, if pus is not thoroughly drained, the lump will still be there on the eyelid and it will be inflamed repeatedly once in a while.  
If stye is suspected, please visit the ophthalmologist without delay. At an early stage treatment would be only hot compress 15-20 minutes for 3-4 times a day to open the oil gland and release the blocked oil. Keep the eye closed during hot compress. The ophthalmologist will be examining and prescribing eye drops, eye ointment, or antibiotics in some cases. If pus is already present, the lump needs to be incised and drained, followed by antibiotics taking for 3-5 days or until the inflammation is completely healed. If pus is not thoroughly drained or the inflammation is not completely healed, the patient is likely to have a recurrence.
  1. The eye must be securely covered to prevent bleeding and swelling for 12-24 hours, or by doctor’s order.
  2. When the cover is removed, start taking/applying medicine as prescribed. If it is painful, take 1-2 pills of pain reliever every 4-6 hours.
  3. If the pus incision area is bruised and blue, do cold compress.
  4. Do not scratch eyes.
  5. The next day, clean the area around the eye with damp cotton.

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