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What is this stye by my eye? OH MY!

Created on: Friday, July 14, 2017

What is this bump on my eyelid?

A stye, sometimes called a hordeolum, is usually caused by a bacterial infection in the eyelid. It is characterized by a small, red, painful bump in the eyelid, near the base of the eyelashes. There are 2 types of hordeola, internal and external.

An internal hordeolum is located inside the eyelid, caused by infection of the meibomian gland(s), which normally produce oily tear secretions. An external hordeolum is located near the base of the lash, looks like a pimple, and is caused by an infection in an eyelash follicle and/or adjacent oil or sweat glands.  Both types can be associated with the eyelid condition blepharitis, which is redness and inflammation of the lids and skin surrounding the eyes. If you have a stye, you will likely notice it is tender to the touch and red.

But then, what is a chalazion?

A chalazion is a noninfectious blockage of an oil gland in the eyelid. Both hordeola and chalazia start out with redness, swelling, and discomfort in the eyelid.   Over time, however, the chalazion becomes painless and leaves a firm nodule in the lid.  

What about treatment? How can I get rid of these ugly bumps?

Typically the first course of treatment is the use of warm compresses, four times per day for at least 10 minutes per session. Antibiotic and/or steroid drops or ointments may also be helpful.  In some cases the doctor may recommend a steroid injection to reduce swelling in the lid. If these treatments do not result in resolution over time, surgical removal may be considered.

For a brief illustration click here

Written by Bart W., Technician with Milwaukee Eye Care Associates



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