What is a Stye?
A stye is an infection of the glands or follicles found at the edge of the eyelash or inside or under the eyelid. It is also referred to by the medical term hordeolum. There are two types of sties – external (hordeolum) and internal stye.
An external stye is a tender, red bump or pimple at the base of the eyelash which starts to swell and becomes painful. An internal stye is a red, painful swelling under or inside the eyelid. Because it is located under or inside the eyelid, pus does not usually appear.
What Causes a Stye?
Sties occur as a result of a bacterial infection when the oil glands of the eyelid or hair follicles of the eyelash become clogged with oil or dirt. It may also be caused by blepharitis – inflammation of the eyelid. If left untreated, a stye can spread and lead to a more severe infection. This condition tends to be quite common in infants and children than adults. However, it can affect people of all ages.
The common symptoms and signs of a stye include:
- Bumps at the base of the eyelash, under or inside the eyelid
- Tender, red and swollen upper or lower eyelids or warm to the touch
- Eye pain
- Blurred vision
- Mucous-like discharge in the eye
The diagnosis of a stye is based on the location and appearance of the eyelid. Your doctor may also test the fluid in the eye to establish what type of bacteria is present. A chalazion or cyst may be mistaken for a stye.
Help for Stye
The treatment for a stye involves applying warm compresses to the eyelid for about 10 to 15 minutes, three or four times a day. A stye will generally heal on its own within a few days. The compresses help to alleviate the pain and increase the blood flow to the eyelid. Like a pimple the stye will burst, drain and heal. Antibiotic eye drops or ointment may also be prescribed.
In severe cases where the infection has spread, surgical drainage may be required. In order to avoid a stye from recurring, you need to clean your eyelids regularly – add a few drops of mild baby shampoo into warm water. Use a cotton swab or clean washcloth to gently clean the eyelids with the soapy solution – remember to keep your eyelids closed!!
Natural and holistic treatments have also proven to be highly effective in treating various eye problems in a gentle manner. Homeopathic remedies are a natural yet safe and gentle alternative to the harsh side effects of conventional medications.
Carefully selected ingredients such as Euphrasia, Pulsatilla, Psorinum, Merc sol and Graphites provide symptomatic relief while also maintaining overall eye health. In addition, Calendula, Agrimony and Arg nit helps to cleanse, soothe and refresh to relieve irritation and discomfort in the eyes and promote future eye health.