What is Eye Stye?
Stye or hordeolum is an infection of the eyelid or the area at the base of the eyelashes. This condition is a result of an infection of the oil glands of our eyelids that is essential in the lubrication of the eyeball. The stye is a common condition that all age groups are affected. Men and women are said to be equally affected. Some people are at risk for this condition such as those who have diabetes, chronic blepharitis, seborrhea, and other chronic illnesses. Those who are immunocompromised patients are also at risk and people who are under a lot of stress are susceptible for this condition.
Styes have two types according to where they are found:
Found outside the eyelid and is the most common type of stye. This can be compared to a pimple that can be found near an eyelash. This can be reddish and painful. These styes do not last long to infect a person but can be physically burdening.
These are found underside of the eyelid and can cause redness, and painful swelling. But the possibility of pus formation is low. The stye may disappear completely once the infection is gone.
Eye Stye Symptoms
The stye usually starts as a red, tender bump. The stye then develops to a yellowish spot at the center of the lump, meaning pus has accumulated. The possibility of breaking the stye open and draining it is always considered. Generally, the characteristics of a stye are:
- Lump or bump on top or bottom of eyelid
- Localized swelling of eyelid
- Crusting of the eyelid
- Burning sensation in the eye
- Itchy sensation
- Changes in vision: blurry
- Drainage in the eye: mucous
- Irritated eye
- Light sensitivity
- Difficulty in blinking
- Sensation of a foreign body felt in eye
There are potential complications if the stye is not treated accordingly. The infection may spread to the other eyelashes and result to multiple styes. Another complication is the formation of scars or is a term called chalazion that can end up to cysts. This can be in a slarge form that may cause deformation of the cornea of the eye and shall impair one’s vision. Another complication is generalized infection of the eyelid or what we call blepharitis. The growth of eyelashes can be disrupted thus impeding the defenses of our eyes. When stye infection is note controlled, the progression of a systemic infection is a possibility.
Eye Stye Causes
The cause for this condition is bacterial infection. The bacteria Staphylococcus aureus is the main culprit for stye formation. Viral agents are also considered in the formation of styes. Other causes are the following:
- Blocking of an oil gland
- Poor nutrition
- Sleep deprivation
- Frequent rubbing of the eyes
- Makeup – usually those who share makeup with others and thick makeup
Eye Stye Treatment
Home remedy is also a good way to start in treating a hordeulom. These remedies have given comfort to patients as reported:
- Application of warm compress or washcloth on to the affected area for 10 minutes. Do not apply it for a long time for it can only irritate the eye. This should be done four to six times a day.
- Do not press or squeeze the stye just to facilitate drainage of the pus, if present. This can only worsen the infection.
- Taking of over-the-counter analgesics are helpful in alleviating the pain and the tenderness which the patient is complaining about.
- Avoid using contact lenses and eye makeup when one is still in the treatment process for stye.
Medical treatment for stye is antibiotic ointments and steroid ointments. Some antibiotic solutions and oral antibiotic pills are suggested. These are prescribed by the doctor for the persistent formation of styes. Children are required to undergo surgical drainage when it is uncontrollable. Anesthesia induction is needed for children for they can be fearful and anxious during the procedure.
The prognosis of this condition is good. The stye formation is basically considered harmless, in most cases. This can be relieved in days or in a week. But there are instances where stye formation can recur but are rare only.
Is Eye Stye Contagious?
This condition is considered contagious. Make sure that one should not come into contact with your stye. The possibility of contaminating others is there. A responsible infected person should keep hands and eyes clean. Avoid sharing pillowcases, washcloths or towels with others.
Avoid eye infections by containing the virus or bacteria that has caused the infection. The mere touching or contracting the infected eye with pus can contaminate a person if not careful. Here are some helpful tips to avoid contamination:
- Wash hands before and after touching one’s eyes or face. If one is about to use an eye medication, hand washing is very essential in avoiding cross contamination.
- Do not share makeup with others.
- Do not use eye makeup when infection is still present. The possibility of re-infection is present. If you have developed a stye and usually apply makeup, throw away the makeup kit for it can house the bacteria or viral agents that have caused the disease.
- Contact lenses should not be shared, especially the containers or eye solutions.
- Wearing of contact lenses can only aggravate the irritation. When the infection has gone, one can wear contact lenses but with thorough cleansing first.
- Sharing of eye medication is prohibited.
- Do not share towels, linens, pillows or handkerchiefs with others. Make sure you use your own towels and they’re clean.
- Protect eyes when the weather outside is very windy, hot or cold to avoid irritation.
- Wear safety glasses when one is to work with chemicals and other corrosive liquids.
- Throw away and avoid exposure to contaminated water.
Eye Stye Pictures
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