A sty is a bacterial infection near the root of an eyelash. It is a very common infection that is rarely serious, although it is typically painful.

What Causes Sties?

Sties are formed from bacteria that gradually grow in the root of an eyelash.

Symptoms of Sties

Typically, the first thing you will notice is a lump that resembles a pimple near the root of your eyelash. After that, the lump may grow, becoming more painful and swollen over the course of several days. Eventually, the lump will burst, and drain.

Treatment for Sties

Sties require no treatment, but may heal faster if you apply a warm compress for 10 minutes, four times a day. Usually, it takes about a week from the time they emerge to the time they fully heal.

You can prevent sties by doing your best not to rub your eyes, and keeping your eyelids clean. If your sties are a concern or have been occurring more frequently, it is important to keep your eyelids free of bacteria and talk to your eye care professional.