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Quick Links: Stye 

1. What is Stye?

2. What are the main cause of stye?

3. Signs and Symptoms of Stye.

4. Types of Styes.

5. Treatments of Stye.

5.1. Treatments of Stye- At home.

5.2. Treatments of Stye- In the clinic.

6. Questions and Answers(Q&A).



What is Stye?

Let’s first understand the anatomy of our eyes. Both of our eyes have eyelashes arranged in 2 to 3 rows along the eyelid margins. Each eyelash follicle is associated with oil-secreting glands called glands of Zeis. Another oil-secreting gland called Meibomian glands are also present in the dense connective tissue plates known as tarsal plates,


A stye is also known as Hordeolum. Hordeolum is a Latin word for barley which is a type of cereal grain. It is a medical term used for a swelling in the eyelid resembling a grain of barley.


A stye, Sty, or Hordeolum is actually an acute infection usually from staphylococcal bacteria types of germs commonly found on the skin or in the nose of even healthy individuals. The same infection occurring in Meibomian glands is called Internal hordeolum.

Causes of Stye

The most common cause of a sty is actually Staphylococcus aureus which is the most common bacteria that lives on our skin it’s part of our normal flora everybody has it. It’s on you unless you just took a shower.

Most of the time it doesn’t cause any major problems but it can and if for some reason gets on your eyelid and you rub it then it can get into the hair follicle and that’s what causes a stye. It’s an infection in one of the associated oil glands of the eyelid either the glands of Zeis or Meibomian glands (little oil glands that run vertically on the top and bottom of your eyelid).

Signs and Symptoms

1. A tender swelling or a reddish lump starts appearing on the eyelid margin.

2. Pain on touching and blinking eyelids.

3. Redness and edema may also be present.

4. The eye becomes more sensitive to bright light.

5. Excessive tearing in the eye.

6. The sensation of having something in your eye or eye irritation.

7. It can also appear as multiple lesions as infection can spread from one lash follicle to the next.

8. It can also lead to pre-septal cellulitis, also known as periorbital cellulitis, which is an infection in the tissues around the eye. It can be caused by the spreading of infection in the eye or by minor trauma to the eye.


Sometimes initial symptoms of stye can be similar to other eye conditions. So, talking to your local eye care professional is the best that you can do.

Types of Styes

Based on its origin it can be of two types:

1. External Stye.

2. Internal Stye.


External Stye: As the name already explains this type of stye begins outside the eyelids. It is due to infection by staphylococcal bacteria in the Zeis oil gland. It is the most common type of stye.


Internal Stye: It is caused by an infection in our meibomian gland present within our eyelid tissues. It is rare and develops inside the eyelid either upper or lower. A person having an internal stye feels more pain in comparison with the one having an external stye.

Treatments of stye

First well the good news for treating a stye is that for the most part, it was solved on its own within a week about five to seven days.

Now with some treatments whether it’s kind of at-home conservative therapy or in-office treatments such as medications these can sometimes heal up a little bit faster.


Treatments of Stye- At home

    • Warm Compress.
    • Eyelid Massage.
    • Clean your eye.


Warm Compress

The first sort of treatment is warm compresses. A warm compress on the eye actually gets the fluid basically the blood flowing around the eyelid a little bit faster and that gets nutrients white blood cells to go toward that part of the eyelid and potentially helps heal that infection.

On top of that, the heat is going to help in melting the oils that have solidified in your meibomian glands in the eyelid. Due to this heat, any of those solidified inflamed oils are then going to express easier.

Again you don’t want to pop it yourself but if it expresses naturally whether you’re using the heat the warm compress then it helps to reduce the swelling and it’s gonna feel better. Hot compresses should be done to localize the infection (pus point) and also for patient comfort. After this, it’s going to resolve a lot quicker so always number one is going ahead and do warm compresses.

Studies will say that 108 degrees Fahrenheit is the most appropriate and it has to be done for that minimum of 8 to 10 minutes.


Eyelid Massage

In continuation to warm compress next thing to do is to do a type of actual lid massage.  It is done to kind of encourage the drainage of this stye that’s been locked up. But again remember that do not try to pop it by yourself.

You can do a gentle massage and there’s a couple of ways to do this to do a gentle kind of rotating motion just kind of gently push on it and that’ll encourage it to express. Warm compress followed by the lid massage is the two best things you can do at home to help this kind of heal up on their own.


Clean your eye

Now this more of a tip than treatment for anybody who gets this eye infection frequently is to really clean your eyelids. One of the main reasons or main cause of a stye is the infection by staphylococcal aureus so cleaning the eyelids really well to get rid of any of that bacteria is going to be really helpful.


Treatments of Stye- At clinic

1. Oral antibiotics may be given especially in diabetic patients and recurrent cases as oral antibiotics reach the internal eyelid structures more easily than eye drops.

2. Lipiflow which is a type of warm compress device which provides heat and regular pressure on the eyes will help. Only a few clinics will have such type of device so you can talk to your eye care professional about that.

3. Topical antibiotic ointment should be applied to prevent adjacent infection.

4. Incision and drainage may be required in severe cases.

Question and Answers

Q.1 I had a small stye inflammation that went down weeks ago but I still have this bump what is that bump?

Ans. That is a chalazion so that’s when it’s no longer infected and it’s no longer in pain but it can still be red and swollen you’ll get kind of this hard bump on the eyelid that’s a chalazion and that’s actually basically a cyst buildup of oil from your meibomian glands stuck in your eyelid it’s blocked up and it can’t get out and so that’s a chalazion.


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