What is a Sty?
A sty is the common term used for an acute infection of the hair follicle or glands in the eyelid. The medical term of a sty is hordeolum. A sty is usually caused by one of the Staphylococcus bacteria that is commonly found on the skin.
A sty (hordeolum) occurs more often in children, those with chronic inflammation of the eyelids such as blepharitis, diabetic, and in people with poor hygiene habits.
Symptoms of a Sty
Redness of the eyelid
Swelling or edema of the eyelid
Pain in the early stages as the redness and welling expand
An elevated or raised nodule in the eyelid
Abscess formation can occur pointing toward the skin but sometimes may point inward toward the eye
Abscess can drain with a purulent discharge
Medical Treatment of a Sty
Treatment of a sty starts with warm or hot compresses to the eyelid. A wash cloth placed in hot water but not too hot to cause a burn to the skin is placed on the eyelid. When the wash cloth cools put it back in the hot water and place it back on the eyelid. Keep this compress on the eye for 15 minutes at least four times a day.
Antibiotic drops can help to treat the infection.
Removing the eyelash from the sty can often help with its drainage
If the infection is severe enough then oral antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent any spread and help with speeding up the recovery.
Surgical Treatment of a Sty
Surgical drainage may be necessary if it will not resolve. This invloves injecting the area with local anesthetic. The sty is then drained usually from inside the eyelid.
People with a sty need to be careful as to not spread the infection. Frequent washing of the hands, using antiseptic wipes or solutions, and good personal hygiene are useful in preventing the spread of a sty.