Signs and symptoms of a sty include:
- A red lump on your eyelid that is similar to a boil or a pimple
- Eyelid pain
- Eyelid swelling
Another condition that causes inflammation of the eyelid is a chalazion. A chalazion occurs when there's a blockage in one of the small oil glands at the margin of the eyelid, just behind the eyelashes. Unlike a sty, a chalazion usually isn't painful and tends to be most prominent on the inner side of the eyelid. Treatment for both conditions is similar.
When to see a doctor
Most sties are harmless to your eye and won't affect your ability to see clearly. Try self-care measures first, such as applying a warm washcloth to your closed eyelid for 5 to 10 minutes several times a day and gently massaging the eyelid. Contact your doctor if:
June 03, 2015
- The sty doesn't start to improve after 48 hours
- Redness and swelling extend beyond your eyelid and involve your cheek or other parts of your face
- AskMayoExpert. Hordeolum (stye). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Riordan-Eva P, et al. Lids and lacrimal apparatus. In: Vaughan & Asbury's General Ophthalmology. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed March 31, 2015.
- What Are Chalazia and Styes? American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/chalazion-stye.cfm. Accessed March 31, 2015.
- What you need to know about contact lens hygiene and compliance. American Optometric Association. http://www.aoa.org/x8024.xml. Accessed March 31, 2015.
- Chalazion and hordeolum. Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/eye-disorders/eyelid-and-lacrimal-disorders/chalazion-and-hordeolum-stye. Accessed March 31, 2015.
- Eye cosmetic safety. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductsIngredients/Products/ucm137241.htm. Accessed March 31, 2015.
- Lindsley K, et al. Interventions for acute internal hordeolum. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD007742.pub3/abstract. Accessed March 31, 2015.
- Wash your hands. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HandWashing. Accessed April 1, 2015.
- Using eye makeup. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/living/eye-makeup.cfm. Accessed April 1, 2015.
- Chalazion and stye treatment. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/chalazion-stye/treatment.cfm. Accessed April 1, 2015.
- Robertson DM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 18, 2015.