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What is a stye?

Got a little bump on my eye lid. Roommate says its a stye. What is a stye and how do you get it or get rid of it? I've had it for more than a week and its really buggin me.
A stye occurs when one of the many tiny little glands on the edge of the eyelid become clogged up with debris. Once clogged, secretions from the gland back up behind the obstruction, and the result is a red and swollen bump on the eyelid. Fortunately, styes are a very common medical problem and they are not very serious either, although the can be a bit uncomfortable and can be a little embarrassing cosmetically. Most styes will improve on their own and do not need any special medications to help them go away. Instead, what you can do is apply warm compresses to the area several times per day. This will help to open up the pore leading into the stye and allow the material insight to drain. If, after a week or so, you are not seeing improvement you may want to go see your doctor. Some styes can become quite large and can also lead to an infection. If you notice that the swelling is worsening, or if the skin is quite warm or has an increasing area of redness, you may need antibiotics. Your primary care doctor will be able to help you figure this out.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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