So you noticed that your eye is itchy and you noticed a growth and perhaps some redness. Well, you may have contracted an eye infection leading to a stye.
So, what is a stye in the eye?
A stye on the eye is synonymous with “barely on the eye” and is medically termed as “hordeolum”.
When the sebaceous gland of the eye is blocked, the oil/sebum gets accumulated forming a lump. This when further gets invaded by bacteria (mainly Staphylococcus) causes an acute infection, which eventually becomes red, swollen and painful. A stye can point externally (outward) or internally (inward).
What causes a stye?
Blockage of the sebaceous gland can occur due to:
- Improper/incomplete removal of eye makeup
- Using outdated cosmetics
- Poor eye hygiene
- Inflammatory disease of the eyelid (e.g., rosacea)
- Stress or hormonal changes
What are the symptoms?
- Pain, swelling, and redness of the eyelid
- Redness of the eye
- Sensitivity to light
- Tearing of the eye
- Vision impairment (if the stye is large enough)
How can a stye be treated?
The infection starts out with a small painful swelling (millet size) and eventually starts to itch and become red. In 4-7 days, the stye “ripens” and forms a “head”. Eventually, at its apex, it whitens and a small round “pustule” is seen, which after a while gets opened. Once the contents get released (pus), the edema subsides and the pain remains for a while. The things you can do to treat the stye include:
- Stop using cosmetics
- Never pierce the stye
- Salt/iodine can be used to fasten the ripening (if the doctor recommends & it is only the early stage of stye)
- Use the prescribed antibiotic/eye drops given by your doctor/ophthalmologist
- Dry heat application
We would recommend you to treat your stye at the earliest possible and follow your doctors advise. Do not self-medicate and if you have a sudden fever, lethargy or loss of appetite, consult your doctor immediately.