Also known as a hordeolum, is a bacterial infection of an oil gland in the eyelid.

Manifests as a red tender bump at the edge of the eyelid.

The outside or the inside of the eyelid can be affected.

Symptoms may include:

A lump on the top or bottom eyelid

Localized swelling of the eyelid

Localized pain



Crusting of the eyelid margins

Burning in the eye

Droopiness of the eyelid

Itching of the eyeball

Blurred vision

Mucous discharge in the eye

Irritation of the eye

Light sensitivity


Discomfort during blinking

Sensation of a foreign body in the eye

Onset at any age.

Duration is from a few days or weeks: Styes can last from one to two weeks without treatment, or as little as four days if treated properly.

Caused usually by bacterial infection by Staphylococcus aureus.

Treatment: warm compresses, and antibiotic eye ointment are recommended, but evidence to support them is poor.

The internal infection of the eyelid is due to infection of the meibomian gland while the external infection is due to an infection of the gland of Zeis.

A chalazion on the other hand is a blocked oil gland without infection, occurring typically in the middle of the eyelid and is non painful.

It may clear without any specific treatment in a few days or weeks.

Most cases of styes resolve on their own.

Normally heal on their own by rupturing within a few days to a week causing the relief of symptoms.

Treatment is primarily with the application of warm compresses.

Homecare usually involves cleaning the affected eyelid with tap water or with a mild, nonirritating soap or shampoo to help clean crusted discharge.

The most frequent complication is progression to a chalazion.

A chalazion may cause cosmetic deformity, corneal irritation, and often requires surgical removal.

Eyelid cellulitis is another potential complication

Complications of improper surgical lancing consist of disruption of lash growth, lid deformity or lid fistula.

Progression of a stye to a systemic infection is extremely rare.

Stye formation can be triggered by poor nutrition, sleep deprivation, lack of hygiene, lack of water, and rubbing of the eyes.

Can be secondary to blepharitis or a deficiency in immunoglobulin.

Sharing of washcloths or face towels should be avoided to prevent spreading the infection between individuals.

Prevention is closely related to proper hygiene, and proper hand washing can reduce the risks.

Prevention can also be achieved by the application of a warm washcloth to the eyelids for one to two minutes, upon awakening, which decreases the occurrence of styes by liquefying the contents of the oil glands of the eyelid and thereby preventing blockage.

It is recommended to not share cosmetics or cosmetic eye tools with other people, and such accessories should be kept their clean and generally practice proper eye hygiene.

Eye makeup should be removed every night before going to sleep.

Patients with styes should avoid eye makeup, lotions, and wearing contact lenses, since these can aggravate and spread the infection.

Evidence for efficacy of antibiotic eye ointment is poor.

Systemic antibiotics are reserved for people with multiple styes or with styes that do not seem to heal, and to people who have blepharitis or rosacea.

Incision and drainage is performed if resolution does not begin 48 hours after warm compresses are started.

Sometimes lancing a persistent or irritating stye with a needle may accelerate its draining.

Surgery is the last resort in the treatment of styles.

Stye surgery is performed under generally local anesthesia by an ophthalmologist.

Stye surgery consists of making a small incision on the inner or outer surface of the eyelid, and the pus is drained.

Sutures are used to close the lesion.

Harmless in most cases.

Complications are rare.

Often recur.

Not associated with intraocular damage.

Prognosis is better if one does not attempt to squeeze or puncture the stye.

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