An eye stye is an inflammation in the eyelid that usually occurs when there is a bacterial infection, abnormal functioning of the eyelid glands or excess oiliness in the eyes, causing symptoms such as slight swelling, redness, discomfort and itching.
Scientifically, a stye is known as the hordeolum, and may be external when it affects the eye's Zeiss or Mol glands, or internal when it develops in the Meibomius gland, and may also be known as chalazion.
Although it can be very uncomfortable, most of the time, the stye does not need specific treatment as it disappears after about 5 to 7 days. However, it is recommended you place warm compresses on the region to relieve symptoms. When inflammation does not go away after 8 days, it is recommended you see an ophthalmologist or dermatologist to start a more specific treatment, which may include antibiotics.
The main symptoms of an eye stye are:
- Sensitivity and pain at the edge of the eyelid,
- The appearance of a small rounded area, that is painful and becomes swollen, with a small yellow dot in the center;
- Temperature increases in the region;
- Sensitivity to light and tearing of the eyes;
In cases of an inner stye, which may also be known as chalazion, the lesion is a little deeper, so there is usually no yellow dot in the center, with swelling and the pain is stronger more common.
Who is most at risk of stye
An eye stye is usually more common in adolescents due to hormone disruption in the elderly, as well as in people who have excess oiliness on their skin or who have another inflammation of the eyelid.
What to do if you suspect you have an eye stye
The stye usually does not need any specific remedies to heal and so homemade remedies can help. Following the recommendation below so that it can heal faster:
- Clean the area around the eyes, and do not let too much secretion accumulate;
- Apply warm compresses to the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes, 3 or 4 times a day;
- Do not squeeze or stir too much in the region as it may worsen inflammation;
- Do not wear make-up or contact lenses, to avoid spreading the lesion or it getting bigger, and taking longer to disappear.
The swelling of the stye usually drains alone in about 5 days, not exceeding 1 week. The signs of improvement are decreased swelling, pain and redness. Some cases, however, are more severe and may last longer and the infection can worsen, so be aware of the signs and seek help from a ophthalmologist or dermatologist.
When to go to the doctor
To identify if the stye is more severe and medical attention is needed, you must be aware of some signs, such as:
- The inflammation spreads over the face, presenting a large red area, that is hot and painful;
- The eyes are very red and irritated;
- Vision is diminished;
- The lesion does not disappear in 7 days.
After evaluation, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic ointment or eye drops, and in some cases the use of oral antibiotics may be necessary. There are also a few more serious cases where minor surgery may be needed to drain pus from the lesion.