What are the Symptoms of a Staph Eye Infection?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
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  • Last Modified Date: 16 March 2019
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The common symptoms of a staph eye infection are styes, large blisters are bumps in or around the eye, pain, swelling, tearing, and redness. Bumps may be red, yellow, or purple in color and they are often very sore to the touch. Pus may become apparent within several days in the center of these masses or they may begin to drain pus combined with blood and sometimes an amber colored liquid.

Staph eye infection can occur in one of several areas of the eye. A stye is a small yellow or white bump which generally occurs on the eyelid, while dacryocystitis refers to an infected tear duct. Bumps may also occur in either corner of the eye or even on the whites of the eyeball itself. Blisters, called blebs, may also form when the eye is either injured or after surgery.

Most staph infections cause pain and a hot sensation in the affected area. Sometimes swelling becomes so severe that movement of the eye becomes limited. Vision may also be affected if the infection is not treated promptly. There are various treatment options available for a staph infection in the eye.


One of the most commonly used treatments for a staph eye infection is antibiotics. This refers to medications used to kill the bacteria. Some medication-resistant strains of bacteria may be harder to treat, but they can often be alleviated when treated early. Antibiotics may be given orally, or an antibiotic ointment may be given to put directly on the infected area.

Many patients are also advised to put a warm compressed on the infected bumps or sties in order to draw pus and fluid to the surface and to soften the tissues. This often allows them to drain on their own and heal. If they do not eventually drain, a doctor’s assistance may be required. He or she can lance, or cut open, the wound to allow the contents to drain.

Patients should keep an open or draining wound covered as much as possible because the contents are highly contagious and could cause an infection elsewhere. A patch may be worn over the eye to avoid leakage. It is important to never squeeze, poke, or try and “pop” and unopened mass on the eye because this could move bacteria into the bloodstream and cause serious complications. It may also lead to additional infections within the eye. In very rare cases the eye may be permanently damaged or infection may recur.


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Post 5

Can I get staph infection on my vagina when having oral sex with my boyfriend who has staph in his eye?

Post 4

If it is a red bump under your eyelid, it sounds like a chelazion. It is a bacterial staph infection and has to be treated with antibiotics.

Post 3

@alisha-- @fify gave the right recommendation. Styes are nasty infections. I got one several years back and my eye was so swollen that I couldn't keep it open. I had to go on antibiotics to get rid of it.

Then the stye came back two months later. And I had to take another course of antibiotics. If you can avoid the antibiotics and clear up the infection with hot water compresses or hot tea bags, that's great. But if the swelling gets worse, you need antibiotics. The infection can damage your eye sight.

Post 2
@alisha -- It sounds like you have a stye, although your doctor would know for sure. How long have you had it? Styes usually last for a while.

When I got an eye staph infection, my doctor had me do hot compresses on my eyes with hot water and a drop of baby shampoo twice a day with a cotton ball. It took about five days for the swelling and redness to go away but it worked.

You can do the same treatment at home. If it doesn't go away though, you might need antibiotics. It's best to show it to your doctor and go from there.

Post 1

I'm not sure if what I have is a stye but there is a red bump on my eyelid, near the eyelashes. It's red, not really painful, but irritating. It bothers me while I'm blinking.

How can I know for sure if this is a stye? Are there any eye infection treatments I can do at home?

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