What Is Stye (Sty) ?
Stye, also known as hordeolum, is a small, painful lump filled with pus. It is usually visible on the surface of the eyelids caused by Staphylococcus bacterial infection. Generally, its infection is seen on one eye. Although there are chances to have styes on both eyes or to have more than one stye on the same eye at a time. In fact, no treatment is required as the infection gets cured itself only from one to three weeks. Eye styes can occur and recur at any age. Most eye styes stay swallowed for about 3 days before they break open and drain, causing relief from the pain.
- External stye or external hordeolum: it is a red, painful, pus-filled swelling that is seen along the edge of the eyelid. It resembles a pimple caused by an infection of an eyelash follicle or the sebaceous (Zeis) gland or the apocrine (Moll) gland.
- Internal stye or internal hordeolum: it is a red swelling that develops on the inside of the eyelid. It is usually more painful than the other type. Internal stye is caused because of the infection of the Meibomian gland.
Stye Causes :
Stye is caused by the infection of oil glands in the eyelids by Staphylococcus bacteria. These are harmless microorganisms present on the skin. But when the eyelids get clogged by dead skin, dirt or the build-up of oil, bacteria grow inside and cause infections.
However, the infection is triggered by lack of hygiene, dehydration and frequent rubbing of the eyes. Sometimes, malnutrition and lack of sleep can be a reason for styes. However, sharing of pillows, washcloths or face towels can spread the infection among individuals in rare cases.
Stye Signs and Symptoms :
Stye usually starts as a tender, red and hot swelling along the edge of the eyelid. The swelling is filled with pus and develops a small, yellowish spot at the center which later expands in the area.
Some other symptoms are :
- Watery eyes
- Droopiness of the eyelid
- Irritation of the eyes
- Light sensitivity
It is necessary to have a close examination of the eyes, eyelids and eyelashes using a light and a magnifying device.
Although stye is harmless and less complicated, it often recurs. It normally heals itself rupturing within a few days to a week without causing any damage to the eyes. Few people require surgery as a part of the stye treatment.
The prognosis worsens when a stye is squeezed or punctured. The infection may spread to the adjacent tissues, causing more styes. It may also damage the already dysfunctional glands, thus boosting the probability of its recurrence. However, if it does not improve and worsens within two weeks, a doctor should be consulted.
Stye Prevention :
Stye is an infection. So it is very important to practice personal hygiene, particularly for the eyes and eyelids.
- Use contact lens only with clean hands.
- Wash eyes and hands frequently.
- Never use outdated cosmetics. Never share cosmetics or cosmetic eye tools with others.
- Clean eye tools regularly. It is also recommended to remove makeup every night before sleeping.
- Drink lots of water to avoid dry eyes and skin.
- Undergo medication for conditions like stress and hormonal disorders, and also for skin problems, like Blepharitis and Acne Rosacea.
- Do not rub or touch eyes with dirty hands and unclean towels.
Is Stye Contagious?
There is some discrepancy among experts about the contagiousness of a stye. Usually, stye is not transferred from person to person except under unusual circumstances, such as touching a stye and then transferring the causative body part or thing to another person. But for the same individual, the infection can spread to other areas of the eyelid and eye to produce a condition named as orbital cellulitis. However, this type of spread is very rare.
Complications of stye are secondary conditions or symptoms or other disorders that are caused by stye. These occur in very rare cases and are rarely serious.
- Chalazion (meibomian cyst) is developed when glands on the eyelid are blocked by internal styes. It is normally painless. However, it can cause cosmetic deformity, corneal irritation and may require surgical removal.
- Preseptal cellulitis (periorbital cellulitis) is caused when the infection spreads to the tissues around the eye, causing inflammation in the layers of the skin.
Howeveer, both conditions are curable with antibiotics.
Images, Pics, Photos and Pictures of Eye Stye :
Home Remedies For Stye :
- Wash eyes with clean and half-boiled water with coriander seeds or leaves
- Warmly compress the affected eye with a cloth or towel that was dipped in saline water
- Rub with castor oil or cloves soaked in water for pain relief
- Apply fresh garlic juice on the infected area
- Apply potato paste on clean cloth
- Place cucumber, onion or tomato slices to reduce inflammation and pain
- Put warm guava leaves covered in warm cloth for getting relief of the pain
- Apply parsley brew on the bump
- Press warm herbal tea bags (chamomile, thyme or dandelion tea) to bring out the pus
- Apply poultice of crushed mint, chard leaf, spinach or acacia leaf directly
- Use poultice of chamomile, horsetail and thyme on eyelids after boiling in water
- Place fresh egg on the stye or separate the white of a raw egg and place it in a clean cloth
- Apply Aloe Vera gel with a cotton stick for faster healing
- Apply water boiled with dried calendula petals on the eyelid after cooling
- Drink milk and turmeric
- Boil turmeric and water, and use as eye drops after sieving.
- Rub metals, like gold or iron over the eyes
- Heat saliva with the index finger using the palm of the other hand and then place it on the stye.
- Exercise your eyes to eliminate tension and relax the eyes
Stye Treatment :
Most styes heal themselves within one to three weeks without any treatment. If they do not get reduced after that period or if the redness and inflammation get acute, antibiotic ointments or eye drops may be prescribed. Sometime, oral antibiotic is also recommended. Pain killer is suggested to reduce the aggrieved pain. In some cases, stye is surgically opened to drain out the pus, which is called “incision and drainage.” In recurring cases, the removed stye is sent for histopathological examination to investigate the possibility of skin cancer.