@KoiwiGal - I don't think they look that bad, most of the time. No worse than if someone had a black eye or something. My mother had one once and I felt really bad for her, because it was painful, but I didn't think it looked all that noticeable actually.
I didn't know it was called a hordeolum though. And treatment is just holding a warm cloth against the eye to try and draw it to a head.
You can try to prevent it by getting enough sleep, not touching your eyes and making sure you get good nutrition, I believe. Although even if you do all that, you might still get them.
But, you're right, there's not too much else you can do except wait for them to go away.