Styes are common and should clear up on their own within a week or two. They’re rarely a sign of anything serious but may be painful until they heal.
Check if you have a stye
How you can treat a stye yourself
To reduce swelling and help the stye heal:
- Soak a clean flannel in warm water.
- Hold it against your eye for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Repeat this 3 or 4 times a day.
Avoid wearing contact lenses and eye make-up until the stye has burst and healed.
See a GP if your stye:
- is very painful or swollen
- doesn’t get better within a few weeks
- affects your vision
Treatment from a GP
Your 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
You can’t always prevent a stye
Styes are often caused by bacteria infecting an eyelash follicle or eyelid gland. You’re also more likely to get a stye if you have long-term blepharitis.
You can help avoid styes by keeping your eyes clean.