Initial symptoms of a stye are pain, tenderness and redness of the eye, and the eye may feel scratchy or irritated, states MedicineNet. Later symptoms include swelling of the eye, tearing of the eye, discomfort when blinking, and light sensitivity. The stye appears as a bump with a yellowish center.
Staphlococcal bacteria cause styes, explains All About Vision. Normally present in the nose, these bacteria are easily transferred to the eyes. The infection is contagious, and transmission of the bacteria from one person to another can occur through direct or indirect contact. Styes do not normally have an impact on vision.
Most styes resolve on their own within a few days, notes All About Vision. Applying warm compresses to the eye for 10 to 15 minutes several times a day helps bring the stye to a head and encourages draining. Squeezing or popping the stye is not recommended.
If the stye does not show improvement within 48 hours or the redness or swelling begins to extend to other parts of the face, Mayo Clinic advises consultation with a physician. Treatment for persistent styes involves application of antibiotic drops or creams to the eyelid or administration of oral antibiotics. If the stye does not drain on its own, a doctor may alleviate pain and pressure by lancing and draining the stye.