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Styes are common and should clear up on their own within a week or 2. They're rarely a sign of anything serious, but may be painful until they heal.
A stye usually only affects 1 eye, but it's possible to have more than 1 at a time.
It's probably not a stye if:
To reduce swelling and help the stye heal:
To relieve the pain, take painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. Do not give aspirin to children under 16.
Avoid wearing contact lenses and eye make-up until the stye has burst and healed.
Do not try to burst a stye or remove an eyelash yourself. This can spread the infection.
If you have a stye, your GP may:
Styes are often caused by bacteria infecting an eyelash follicle or eyelid gland.
You're also more likely to get a stye if you have long-term blepharitis.
You can help avoid styes by keeping your eyes clean.
wash your face and remove eye make-up before bed
replace your eye make-up every 6 months
keep your eyelids and eyelashes clean, especially if you have blepharitis
do not share towels or flannels with someone who has a stye
do not rub your eyes if you have not recently washed your hands
do not put contact lenses in before washing your hands