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Stye - How to Avoid and Its Treatment Options

Published on Jul 19, 2018 and last reviewed on Jun 10, 2022   -  2 min read


Stye, also called hordeolum in medical terminology, is an infectious disorder of the eyelid. The disorder is very common in old and young people. This article looks at ways in which a patient can develop a stye, what symptoms it can cause, what treatments are available, and measures you can take to avoid this troublesome infection.

Stye - How to Avoid and Its Treatment Options

What Is a Stye?

A stye is a bacterial infection of the numerous tear glands in the eyelids. The tears glands, namely glands of Zeiss, Moll, and meibomian glands, are responsible for secretions contributing to the tear film. The infection causes the secretions of the glands to accumulate and makes the gland swell, thus causing a swollen appearance.

What Are Its Types?

There are two types of stye, namely hordeolum externum in which there is usually a pus point at the lid margin and hordeolum internum in which there is no such pus point. The basic difference being that they infect different glands in the eyelid but the mechanism of infection and the symptoms remain the same.

How Is It Caused?

It is caused by infection of eyelid tear glands by bacteria such as staphylococci and streptococci. The majority of cases of stye are caused due to eye rubbing. The infection finds a foothold in the eye by way of eye rubbing.

Treatment Options and Home Remedies

An important adjunct to treatment is hot fomentation. This forces the pent-up secretions out of the glands thus ending the inflammatory processes. The traditional way to give hot fomentation to the eye is to dip a clean cloth in comfortably warm water, squeeze out all the water and to apply this heat to the eyelid over the closed eyes.

As the essential problem is an infection, it is treated with antibiotics as the first line of therapy. The commonly used antibiotics are Moxifloxacin 0.5 % or Tobramycin 0.3 % used around six times a day.

Effects of Neglecting a Stye

The stye, if left untreated for about a month, can develop into a "chalazion". The only treatment for a chalazion is to surgically remove it.

How to Avoid Stye?

Prevention is by following hygiene practices such as handwashing and avoiding eyerubbing. Also, it is advisable to get infective conjunctivits and infective processes in and around the eye treated appropriately and in a timely manner.

Hence, good hygienic practices and timely treatment can effectively solve problems caused by styes.

For more information consult an eye infections specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/eye-care-ophthalmologist/eye-infections

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is the Reason for Stye in the Eyes?

A stye in the eye can be due to infection or inflammation in the oil glands in the eyelid. These glands can get clogged with dead skin cells and other debris. This manifests as a swollen, painful lump. Sometimes bacteria such as staphylococcus (commonly responsible for most of these infections) can get trapped inside and cause an infection.


Can Stress Affect Stye?

According to researchers, stress can affect the immune system, making it more likely to develop infections like a stye. A stye develops when the oil-producing gland in the eyelid becomes infected with bacteria.


Can Stye Spread From One Person to Another?

A stye cannot spread from one person to another through casual contact. However, bacteria can spread from an infected person to other people by touching a common surface with infection-causing bacteria like towels, doorknobs, elevation buttons, etc.


Can Heat Affect Stye?

Warm compress is the most effective way to treat a stye. The warmth can help drain the pus by bringing it to the surface and dissolving it.


Does Sleeping Exaggerate Stye?

Less sleep can lower immunity and indirectly cause an infection. When you do not sleep well, it can specifically affect the ability of the T cells in your body to fight off infection.


What Is the Treatment for a Stye?

Antibiotic ointments or drops with associated steroid therapy can help resolve the stye quickly. The treatment involves warm compresses to the eyelid several times a day. This can help fasten the drainage of pus in the lesion. In more severe cases, the doctor may drain the internal stye.


How Does an Infected Stye Look-Like?

A stye can form in the outer or inner part of the eyelid, usually at the base of the eyelash. It is red and painful that may look like a boil or a pimple near the edge of the eyelid. They are filled with pus. It is also called a hordeolum. It may present in just one eye or both eyes also.


What Are the Complications of an Untreated Stye?

Cosmetic deformity and visual disturbance are the most common complications of stye. The complications of improper drainage are disrupting eyelash growth, lid deformity, or lid fistula. This can be more complicated and develop into generalized eyelid cellulitis if untreated. This is rare but can threaten vision and may be life-threatening in rare instances. The recurrence can also occur if prophylactic daily lid hygiene is not maintained.


What to Avoid in Case of an Infected Stye?

You should avoid wearing makeup and contact lenses if you have a stye. They can irritate your eye and delay the healing process. The makeup tools can also transfer the infection to the other eye.


How Much Time Does Stye Take To Heal?

A stye usually takes one or two weeks to heal. In most cases, it would not need any treatment and may get smaller and disappear on its own in two to five days. It can be healed at home, but if it takes longer or the swellings get larger, or you have a blurry vision, you must seek care from a healthcare provider.

Last reviewed at:
10 Jun 2022  -  2 min read




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