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How long does a stye last?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

A stye typically lasts 3 to 7 days, often resolving on its own with proper care.

Styes are painful, red bumps that form on the edge of your eyelid due to a bacterial infection. These small, pus-filled lumps can appear inside or outside the eyelid and are often mistaken for pimples. They can cause discomfort, swelling, and sometimes affect your vision if they get large enough.

Styes are common and can affect people of all ages. They occur when the oil glands in your eyelids get clogged with dead skin, dirt, or oil, leading to bacterial growth. Touching your eyes with dirty hands, using old or contaminated makeup, and certain medical conditions can increase your risk of developing a stye.

If you want to know how to get rid of your stye as quickly as possible, you can read our other article by clicking here.

How long does a stye last for?

If you take proper care of your stye, it typically lasts between 3 to 7 days. Proper care includes applying warm compresses to the affected area several times a day, maintaining good eyelid hygiene, and avoiding touching or rubbing the stye. These measures help the stye to drain naturally and heal more quickly.

For more information on how to get rid of your stye, click here

If you leave your stye untreated, it can last longer than a week. In some cases, untreated styes can lead to complications such as the formation of a chalazion, a more chronic and painless lump caused by a blocked oil gland. An untreated stye can also result in the spread of infection to other parts of the eye or eyelid, potentially leading to more styes to develop.

You should avoid popping or squeezing your stye as this can worsen and spread the infection to other parts of your eye. This happens because the bacteria gets pushed deeper into the eyelid, leading to increased swelling, pain, and the potential for a more severe infection. It’s important to let the stye drain naturally and to properly treat your stye to avoid these complications.

Frequently asked questions about styes

How can I treat a stye at home quickly?

Apply warm compresses to the stye for 10-15 minutes, 3-4 times a day. Keep the area clean and avoid touching or squeezing the stye.

What are the main causes of styes on the eyelid?

Styes are caused by bacterial infections in the oil glands of the eyelid, often due to poor hygiene, touching eyes with dirty hands, or using old makeup.

When should I see a doctor for a stye?

See a doctor if the stye doesn’t improve after a week, worsens, affects vision, or if there’s significant pain, swelling, or you get them repeatedly.

A close-up photo of a woman covering an eye with her hand, ther visible eye has a stye on the upper eyelid which is very swollen and red.

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