A Stye eye infection (also known as hordeolum) is an infection in the hair follicle of an eye lash that manifests itself in the form of a small bump on the outside or inside of the eye:
In other words, the hair follicle, a small pit the eye lash grows out or swells.
It is similar to a pimple or a boil in appearance.
In most cases,this eye condition matures within a week or so and heals on its own.
Causes of Stye Eye Infection
The usual cause is the staphylococcal bacteria that is found in the nasal cavity and can be very easily transferred to the eye.
Staphylococcal bacteria may be transferred by rubbing the nose and the eyes respectively without washing ones hands.
It then infects the gland at the edge of the eyelid causing it to swell and in most cases fill with pus.
Although not harmful for the eye or the eyesight, they are usually preceded by redness and followed by a painful swelling on the outside or inside of an eye.
Although this eye infection is most common in infants, it is also experienced by people of all age groups.
If eye styes are treated properly, they are healed in less than four days. However, if one is not careful, there can be several types of complications extending the duration of eye styes from one to two weeks at minimum.
See photo below:
Stye Eye Infection: Types
There are two principal types:
1. External – An external hordeolum occurs on the outside of an eyelid. An appears as a pimple or a boil and becomes painful after swelling. Usually, external sties last a few days before they burst and heal themselves.
2. Internal – On the other hand,this type appears on the underside of the eyelid resulting in painful swelling. However, because of the location of internal, pus does not appear on the eyelid. Most internal sties disappear once the infection is healed. Yet in some cases, it may leave a small pus filled cyst that may have to be cut open by a doctor.
Symptoms of a Stye Eye Infection
Following are some of the most common symptoms:
1. P pain in the eye, (eyelid and/or area around the eye) that intensifies upon touching or blinking.
2. A red tender lump (swelling) in the eyelid or area around the eye.
3. In certain cases , a small yellowish spot appears at the centre of the lump.
4. Redness in the eye and/or the eyelid area.
5. Most people suffering complain about blurred vision in the infected eye, watery eyes as well as an increased sensitivity to light.
6. Discharge of mucous in the eye in most patients along with causing irritation in the infected eye.
7. Burning and droopiness of the eyelids is another common symptom.
Stye Eye Treatment
Following are some of the most valuable remedies:
1. Warm Compresses – As soon as it appears, gently depress a warm disinfected washcloth against the infected eye for ten to fifteen minutes at least four times a day.
2. Massage – Experts also recommend gently massaging the area around the infection because it speeds up the healing process by accelerating blood circulation.
3. Antibiotics, Ointments, Eye Drops and Pills – As mentioned above, in most cases eye sties heal on their own in a couple of days. However, if there are complications, it is a good idea to use antibiotics (such as chloramphenicol, amoxicillin etc), ointments (such as erythromycin etc), eye drops (such as azasite etc) and/or pills to heal the infection caused by the staphylococcal bacteria.
If it does not heal in a little over a week, you run the risk of it turning into a chalazion.
The most common cause of chalazions is blocked oil glands that become infected. The blockage in oil glands in the eye causes swelling that is healed eventually leaving behind a hard bump that remains of the eyelid.
This hard bump can be treated by a steroid injection on suggest lancing the chalazion or surgically removing the substance inside of it.
However, since all of the above mentioned options are quite painful, it is a good idea to be careful if and when you get an eye stye.
If your eye feels like it is burning, take care to regularly cleanse/disinfect it to prevent infection from occurring again and causing complications or making it worse.
Stye Eye Infection Prevention
Following are some life style tips that help prevent the infection helping you avoid the pain:
1. In most cases, the condition is the result of stress because in times of stress human body makes chemicals and hormones that cause an eye stye. Although we cannot hope to eliminate stress completely from our lives, it is a good idea to think of a few stress busters.
2. Don’t forget to cleanse and remove your eye makeup! This is important because clogged glands around the eyelid often cause infection. Wash your face and use a cleanser every night before sleeping to remove debris and dust from your eyelids.
3. Daily or weekly eye washes, as suitable, are also recommended for people prone to blepharitis, a condition in which the eyelids sufferinflammation because of an infection.
Experts also recommend using pre-packaged and pre-medicated eyelid wipes to prevent an hordeolum since they help remove bacteria and debris that causes it in the first place.
In case you do not want to buy expensive pre-packaged and pre-medicated eyelid wipes, you can do the same treatment using a warm face wipe soaked in tear free baby shampoo.
This type of eye infection can be easily spread and so hands should always be washed after touching the eyelids. Also whilst suffering with Hordeolums/Styes it is recommended that you do not share towels with others.
Stye: Home Remedy
A home remedy for treatment as recommended by one of our website visitors,is to use a grated potato as a bandage/poltice over the swollen inflammed eyelid area.