Hordeolums (aka styes) are caused by your most common bacteria, which creep into your oil glands near your eyelashes leading to a painful inflammatory response. The skin becomes swollen, tender and vision can become impaired by this monster pimple on your eye. However this kind of pimple should NEVER be popped, allow me to explain its birth and death.
Skin types are extremely important when determining when and how often hordeolums may occur. If you have a history of acne or even oily skin, unfortunately the incidence will increase. The glands will have more oils leading to a blockage, which will allow bacteria to grow. The bacteria will infect this open gland at the base of your lashes and cause an inflammatory response (aka the birth of the stye). Therefore the cleaner you keep your lashes (reducing oily build-up); the less often these inflammatory responses will occur. Washing your lashes with warm water (no soap) by massaging your eyelids with your finger tips at least once a day will do the trick in preventing them. Replacing make-up often will also help reduce the incidence.
Treatment of the full-blown stye is just as easy with your optometrist to guide you through it. Warm compresses are usually suggested several times a day (5 minutes with warm towel sitting on your tortured eye) along with an antibacterial prescription (provided by your optometrist). The warmth will help to open the glands and release all the bacteria, again you aren't mechanically popping the stye (NEVER pop), make sure to wipe away an excess pus/mucous. A visit to your optometrist will help with pain management and proper diagnosis of the condition. Keep those eyelids clean and hopefully this stye will be your last.
See and Be Seen! at Eyed LA Optometry in Brentwood, West Los Angeles