A hordeolum is more commonly known as a stye. It is an inflammation on the eyelid containing a small amount of pus (abscess). In most cases, the infection is caused by the staphylococcus bacteria. The lump may be red and painful and can look like a boil or pimple. However, styes are quite common and are not usually a cause for concern. They will generally clear up within a week and as soon as they rupture, symptoms will improve rapidly. However you should not try to burst a stye yourself. Applying a warm compress against the stye can ease the discomfort and it may also encourage the pus to drain away. It is best not to use eye makeup, lotions or wear contact lenses until the stye has cleared up. However if a stye persists for more than a week or affects vision, you should contact your GP.