OHSU

Stye

A stye is a small bump on the eyelid that is red, swollen and painful. It is caused by inflammation of specialized oil glands in the eyelid. A stye is usually caused by a minor infection from bacteria that live on your skin. People with a skin condition called acne rosacea are more likely to get styes and may get them repeatedly.

Symptoms

•    Tender, red, swollen bump on the upper or lower eyelid.
•    May form a head like a pimple and drain pus.

 
An ophthalmologist (eye doctor) can diagnose a stye using a biological microscope.

Treatment and Prevention

When you first notice redness and swelling, apply heat to the eyelid with a warm washcloth. Heat should be applied for at least 5 minutes and repeated once or twice a day until the inflammation goes away. If you get styes often, applying heat each day with a warm washcloth may help. If the stye does not go away after a few days, or if the swelling, pain and redness extends to the entire eyelid, contact your eye doctor immediately. You may contact the Comprehensive Ophthalmology clinic at 503 494-4029.