A stye is an infection that occurs in the sebaceous glands in the eyelids. A stye can be either internal or external, and is manifested as a small red bump. If a stye is internal, only a slight swelling may be seen on the eyelid. If a stye is external, however, the bump is more pronounced and the redness is more apparent as well.
The bacteria that is usually responsible for styes is Staphylococcus aureus. Sometimes, the bacteria is not present, but if the oil gland at the base of an eyelash gets blocked, a stye may also develop. One main reason people get styes is poor hygiene. Poor nutrition and lack of sleep can also cause styes. If you live with someone who has a stye, make sure that you do not share towels and that the person washes his hands often so as to avoid the spread of the infection.
Usually, the first sign of a stye is a tiny yellowish spot at the center of a little bump. You may also experience slight pain in the area. Sometimes, the yellowish spot will not be present, but you’ll feel a bump on your eyelid. You may also see a crust develop along your eyelids. Other symptoms include redness, a burning sensation in the eye, discomfort when blinking, and the feeling that you have sand in your eye.
Most of the time, styes go away on their own in about a week. If it does not go away within that period, you ought to see a doctor for treatment.