A: Styes are red, painful bumps on the eyelid and are chronic problems for many patients. Styes are caused when the glands along the lid margin become clogged and infected, much like a pimple on our face. Some patients are more susceptible to the recurrence of styes because they may have blepharitis, a common lid condition.
If you notice a small lump on your eyelid it is best to see your eye doctor as soon as possible. The longer the treatment is delayed the longer it will take to resolve it and the more painful it becomes. If a stye is not treated promptly or is very large a lump may remain. These lumps (the medical term is chalazion) can be left alone or they may be removed surgically for aesthetic reasons.