Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Eye Stye Overview

Another name for Eye Stye is Stye.

What is a stye?
A person with a stye has a bacterial infection of a small gland in the eyelid. Tiny glands in the eyelids make fluid that lubricates the eye. If one of the glands become plugged with skin cells, bacteria may start to grow. The growing bacteria cause inflammation of the eyelid, which results in a stye. A stye is located at the edge of the eyelid, where the eyelashes attach. A hordeolum is a stye that is located closer to the center of the eyelid, away from the eyelashes. If a hordeolum is not treated, it may turn into a painless swollen lump, called a chalazion.

What are the symptoms of a stye?
The most common symptom of a stye includes a swollen lump on the eyelid, near the eyelashes. Additional symptoms of a stye include eye pain and eye redness, located in the eyelid. Occasionally, pus drains from the swollen lump in the eyelid.

How does the doctor treat a stye?
Treatment for a stye may include gentle cleansing of the eyelid, warm compresses, and antibiotic ointment. Occasionally, minor surgery is required to drain pus from a stye.

Continue to Eye Stye Incidence

Last Updated: Sep 3, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Eye Stye References
  1. Barza M, Baum J: Ocular infections. Med Clin North Am 1983 Jan; DA - 19830407(1): 131-52 [6338305]
  2. Jackson TL, Beun L: A prospective study of cost, patient satisfaction, and outcome of treatment of chalazion by medical and nursing staff. Br J Ophthalmol 2000 Jul; 84(7): 782-5. [10873994]
  3. Olson MD: The common stye. J Sch Health 1991 Feb; 61(2): 95-7. [2016867]
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