A stye is an infection of one or more of the glands at the edge of the eyelid or under it. It is usually caused by one of the group of bacteria called Staphylococcus.


  • redness, tenderness, and pain at the edge of the eyelid that forms into a small round tender swollen area
  • watery eye
  • sensitivity to bright light
  • a feeling that something is in the eye
  • swelling of a small area of the eye or the entire lid
  • a tiny, yellowish spot at the centre of the swollen area


Styes can go away on their own within a week. This usually occurs when the pus inside the stye drains without any help.

Usually, using hot compresses can help drain the stye's pus. To make a hot compress, take a folded clean cloth and dip it in warm-to-hot water that's tolerable to touch, then wring out the cloth until it is no longer dripping.

Apply hot compresses for 10 minutes 2 to 3 times a day to the affected area. The warmth of the compress helps to drain pus from the stye. Apply hot compresses for 2 to 3 days.

Written and reviewed by the MediResource Clinical Team