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What is an eye stye?

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If you notice a bump or pimple on your upper or lower eyelid, it might be a stye. It's an infection in the oil glands around the eyelids.

You don't have to worry about spreading a style to someone else. It isn't contagious.

Bacteria -- most often a type called staphylococcus -- are the root cause of styes. If bacteria infect an oil gland, you get an "internal stye." When you get an infection on your eyelash follicle, it's called an "external stye."

A cut or other injury can open the area to bacteria that cause infection. Or you may simply touch or rub your eyes a lot, with hands that carry bacteria. It may happen more during allergy season when eyes get itchy.

SOURCES:

American Academy of Ophthalmology: "What Are Chalazia and Styes?" "Are styes in the eye contagious?"

American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus: "Chalazion."

Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials: "Styes: How You Can Avoid Them and Best Treatment Tips."

Mayo Clinic: "Diseases and Conditions: Blepharitis," "Diseases and Conditions: Sty."

Michigan Medicine Kellogg Eye Center: "Chalazion and Stye."

Reviewed by Whitney Seltman on July 20, 2020

SOURCES:

American Academy of Ophthalmology: "What Are Chalazia and Styes?" "Are styes in the eye contagious?"

American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus: "Chalazion."

Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials: "Styes: How You Can Avoid Them and Best Treatment Tips."

Mayo Clinic: "Diseases and Conditions: Blepharitis," "Diseases and Conditions: Sty."

Michigan Medicine Kellogg Eye Center: "Chalazion and Stye."

Reviewed by Whitney Seltman on July 20, 2020

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