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What is a stye?

A stye is a painful red lump on the eyelid, which is filled with pus. It usually affects only one eye, but you can have more than one. They are often caused by an infected eyelash follicle or eyelid gland.

Who is affected by styes?

Anyone can develop a stye, especially people who are prone to blepharitis.

What are the symptoms of a stye?

If you have a stye, your eyelid will be red and swollen with a painful lump, which may have a yellow spot in the middle.

How do you treat a stye?

You can treat your stye yourself by using a warm compress, such as a flannel soaked in warm water, or a heat pack you can heat in the microwave, and holding it against your stye for 5-10 minutes, three or four times a day. This will encourage the stye to burst. Do not try and burst the stye yourself as this can spread the infection. Avoid wearing makeup and contact lenses until the stye has gone, and don’t share your towels and flannels.

If your stye does not go after two or three weeks or is affecting your vision, make an appointment with your GP, who can burst it safely for you or refer you to an eye specialist in the hospital.