Overview Of Styes
Most bumps on the eyelid are styes. A stye is an inflamed oil gland on the edge of your eyelid, where the eyelash meets the lid. It appears as a red, swollen bump that looks like a pimple. It is often tender to the touch.
Commonly Associated With
Bump on the eyelid
Causes Of Styes
A stye is caused by a blockage of one of the oil glands in the eyelids. This allows bacteria to grow inside the blocked gland. The bumps are a lot like common acne pimples that occur elsewhere on the skin. You may have more than one stye at the same time.
Styes most often develop over a few days. They may drain and heal on their own. They can also become a chalazion, which occurs when an inflamed oil gland becomes fully blocked. If a chalazion gets large enough, it can cause trouble with your vision.
If you have blepharitis, you are more likely to get styes.
Other possible common eyelid bumps include:
- Xanthelasma: Raised yellow patches on your eyelids that can happen with age. These are harmless, although they are sometimes a sign of high cholesterol.
- Papillomas: Pink or skin-colored bumps. They are harmless, but can slowly grow, affect your vision, or bother you for cosmetic reasons. If so, they can be surgically removed.
- Cysts: Small fluid-filled sacs that can affect your vision.
Symptoms Of Styes
In addition to the red, swollen bump, other possible symptoms include:
- A gritty, scratchy sensation, as if there is a foreign body in your eye
- Sensitivity to light
- Tearing of your eye
- Tenderness of the eyelid
Exams & Tests
In most cases, your health care provider can diagnose a stye just by looking at it. Tests are rarely needed.
To treat eyelid bumps at home:
- Apply a warm, wet cloth to the area for 10 minutes. Do this 4 times a day.
- Do NOT attempt to squeeze a stye or any other type of eyelid bump. Let it drain on its own.
- Do NOT use contact lenses or wear eye makeup until the area has healed.
For a stye, your doctor may:
- Prescribe antibiotic ointment
- Make an opening in the bump to drain it (Do NOT try this at home)