Stye Eye: How Long Does a Stye last on your eye

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Do you notice a bump on your eye? Or is your eye paining? Stye, also known as sty (hordeolum), is a terrible bacterial infection. It is a red bump, pimple like formed on the outside edge of your eyelid. Don’t panic if you get this bump on your eye, because it is not a contagious or serious condition. Getting an stye on your eye is common.

This article will help you get some remedies to treat a stye and know the duration of the stye. However, Before heading towards answering “how long does a stye last?”, lets first see what actually is a stye and how is it caused. Keep reading the article, it will help you a lot to get rid of a stye on your eyes.

What is a Stye?

Stye is a painful lump or ball-like structure present outside or inside the eyes that causes pain and itching. It is full of pus and looks like an acne and pimple type. However, the appearance of a stye can be unsightly at times.

The sty happens on the eyelid called chalazion and back on the eyelid which does not cause any kind of infection and pain. It can appear on one or both eyes. Stye is also known as hordeolum.

How long does a stye last? Stye lasts for maybe 5 to 6 days but in some cases, it may last for a week longer. Use warm compresses, tea bags, eye hygiene, etc to reduce the stye on your eye.

Causes of stye

There are lots of tiny oil glands, especially around your eyelashes. These small holes can be blocked or clogged by dead skin, dirt or oil buildup. Thus, bacteria can grow in a blocked gland and cause the development of a stye.

Here are the reasons for developing a stye:

  • Bacteria staphylococcus
  • Clogging of an oil-producing gland in the eyelid
  • Infection 
  • Eye make-up (usually when you share your makeup with others)
  • Stress

What are the Symptoms of eye stye?

Stye may look like a pimple or causes swelling on your lash-line. Stye may last for few days or may extent to a week. Sometimes it cover your whole eye due to swelling.

Stye is a terrible bacterial infection.How Long Does a Stye last on your eye?
Depiction of a person who has a stye: From Wikipedia Creative Commons

You may experience some following symptoms like;

  • eyelid redness
  • pain
  • stinging 
  • tenderness
  • sore  
  • scratchy eye
  • tearing around eye 
  • watery eye
  • crusting or oozing along the lash line
  • sensitivity to bright light
  • pus from the area
  • blurry vision

If your stye isn’t painful, it might be a chalazion. Both, chalazions and styes are treated in the same manner. However, chalazion may last longer than require more time to heal.

Other factors that cause stye

Despite of the above-mentioned causes, a stye could be caused by a number of other factors. Here are some other factors that cause a stye: 

  • Touching the eye with unwashed hands or dirty hands
  • Having skin conditions such as rosacea 
  • Having seborrheic dermatitis
  • Having blepharitis, or swelling of the eyelids
  • Putting in dirty or old contact lenses
  • Using old cosmetics

Prevention against sty

You may get an eye stye at any age. There are no specific people who get an eye stye. All you need is just to follow good hygiene, it helps to reduce your stye from eyes. A stye isn’t contagious and can be prevented by following precautionary measures:

  • Use warm water.
  • Maintain good hygiene of your face.
  • Avoid using a lot of makeup or expired makeup.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Clean your contacts with disinfectant. 
  • Rinse your contacts with a solution before and after using them.
  • Replace your contacts every 5 to 7 months.
  • Avoid sleeping while wearing lenses.
  • Remove lenses while swimming.
  • Wear safety glasses.
  • Don’t share your eye lenses..
  • Don’t share your medicines.
  • Don’t share your makeup.
  • Clean your makeup brushes.
  • Wash your face more often to remove dirt, makeup, sweat, etc

When to see a doctor?

It is suggested to see a doctor in case your stye lasts for more than 3-4 days and isn’t reducing in size.

Inform your doctor if your eye is paining or you notice any kind of discharge from your eyes. Your doctor may ask some questions, like “what is the duration of your stye?” or “have you used any kind of antibiotic before coming to him?”, etc.

A stye may also be caused by some othe underlying eye conditions. Therefore, immediately seek a doctor if you suffer from blurry vision and swelling.

Stye is a terrible bacterial infection.How Long Does a Stye last on your eye
Image of a stye eye in serious condition. Image from Wikipedia Creative Commons

Treatment for your eye stye

Eye stye isn’t serious and can be cured. However, your doctor may recommend you the following treatment for your eye stye:

  • Eye drops
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Antibiotic ointment 
  • Incision and drainage to allow the inner pus to come out (you may need antibiotics after the procedure)
  • Use of steroid injection in the eyelid to help reduce the swelling

Remedies for your stye in eyes

Clean your eyelid with soap and water

Maintaining a good hygiene of your eyes prevents the stye. Keeping your eyelids cleans prevents the future styes as well.


Here are the steps that could be used to keep your eyelid clean using soap and water:

  • Take a tear-free baby shampoo.
  • Mix it with warm water.
  • Wash your eye gently. 
  • Clean your eye with cotton or a clean dry cloths.
  • Repeat it every day until your stye disappears.
Stye is a terrible bacterial infectionHow Long Does a Stye last on your eye.
Photo by Vitória Santos from Pexels

Use of warm tea bag

You might wonder how can a teabag cure a stye. Black tea is believed to be the best treatment because it reduces swelling and has some antibacterial properties which helps cure the stye.


Here are some steps that should be followed to treat a stye using a warm tea bag:

  • Boil a glass of water. 
  • Put a black tea bag in it.
  • Leave it for 1 min and then drink the tea.
  • Wait until the teabag cools down.
  • Place it on your eye.
  • Leave it on your eye for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Use a separate teabag for your other eye.

Use it a few times a day.

How Long Does a Stye last on your eye
Photo by Tree of Life Seeds from Pexels

Use Warm compressors

A warm compressor is the most effective way to help treat a stye. The warmth helps in bringing the pus i your stye to the surface and dissolve the pus and oil so the stye can drain naturally.


Here are some steps that should be followed to treat a stye using a warm compressor:

  • Take a tidy washcloth.
  • Take lukewarm water.
  • Wring the cloth in order to make it wet but not dripping. 
  • Place it over your eye for about 6 to 10 minutes. 
  • You can do this 2 to 4 times each day.
Image of a Warm Compressor taken from Wikipedia Creative Commons

Avoid Makeup and contact lenses

We all are aware of the fact that makeup products contain a mixture of several different chemicals and have a higher risk of irritating your skin. Makeup can make the stye worse and can delay the healing process. There is also a chance of transferring bacteria to your makeup tools and brushes and spreading the infection to your other eye too.

Things that must be done when you apply makeup:

  • Check the expiry date of your products (Discard your eye products that have exceeded 3 months).
  • Wash your brushes frequently.
  • Remove your makeup properly.

Avoid wearing contact lenses if you have a stye. You can use spectacles instead of lenses.

The above-mentioned remedies to treat a stye are limited when you don’t get any harm or allergy. If you get any redness or pain in your eyes by using these at least one-time, it is recommended to consult your doctor immediately.

Other treatment options

You have also some other treatment options which will help you to reduce your stye on eyes like;

  • Take painkillers: You can take painkillers to reduce the swelling and pain. However, if the pain keeps increasing, you can visit your doctor.
  • Massage the area lightly: Massage the affected area with lid wipes to promote drainage. Use clean hands to massage. Once the stye drains, keep your eye clean and avoid touching. Stop doing massage if you get hurt.
  • Get medical treatment: Some styes need treatment and should be drained professionally, therefore get a medical treatment from your doctor. Your doctor might recommend an antibiotic cream for infections.
  • Surgery: Some styes are internal or affect your vision and are critical, therefore surgery is required for such styes.  

General FAQs on Stye

Can I pop the stye on my eyes?

Do not pop, squeeze, or touch a stye. You shouldn’t pop the stye like your pimple. It might seem tempting, but squeezing and touching will discharge pus and may spread the infection or make your eyes watery. See a doctor if the stye is on the inside of your eyelid.

Are styes contagious for other people and babies?

It’s an infection that appears as a red bump or swelling near the rim of the upper or lower eyelid. Stye is not contagious like other pimples. It can not spread by any contact. 

How long does a stye last?

Styes last for 5 to 6 days and might disappear with above home remedies if it does not vanish and continuously causes irritation in your eyes or swelling or any kind of discharge immediately consult your doctor.


 Don’t squeeze or pop your stye like your pimples. Eye hygiene can prevent you from future styes. Use recommended medication by your doctor