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When To See A Doctor For A Stye

A Stye also known as a hordeolum is a small abscess that appears on the eyelid.  It appears as a lump that is painful and can appear either on the inside or outside of the eyelid. Other symptoms of a stye include red eye or eyelid, and a tearing eye. It is not always necessary for you to go to the doctor when you have a stye, but if it is an external stye and very painful, there might be a need.

A stye is caused by a staphylococcus bacterial infection. Another possible cause of a stye may be the long-term inflammation of the eyelids. Most styes go away after a few days or weeks and do not require any treatment. External ones turn into yellow spots and release pus after a couple of days while internal styes may last longer. A warm compress on the eye is sufficient to help the sty release pus and heal faster. You can also swallow a strong painkiller to ease the pain.  The warm compress is applied for 5-10 minutes and repeated three or four times a day until the stye clears up. There is no need for further treatment not unless it becomes more painful and not getting better. At this period, you can consult a doctor who will drain it by making an incision into the stye by the use of a thin, clean needle. In case the stye involves an infected eyelash follicle, the doctor will remove the eyelash that is closest to it.  Do not remove the eyelash or burst the stye yourself.

Causes of external Styes

Some of the causes of an external stye include the following:

   eyelash follicle infection

   Disease of the sebaceous (Zeis) gland- the Zeis gland is attached to eyelash follicle and produces sebum whose function is lubricating the eyelash to avoid its drying up.

    Apocrine (Moll) gland infection- the Apocrine is a sweat gland that releases into the eyelash follicle and together with the tear, the fluid form a film that covers the eye and keeps it moist.

Causes of internal Styes

Internal styes are caused when the Meibomian gland is infected. The meibomian glands are located on the eyelids and produce a liquid that is fatty that makes a part of the tear film covering the eye. A stye can be a complication of another condition blepharitis. Blepharitis is responsible for the swollen eyelid rims and may be manifested in symptoms like crusty eyelashes, sore eyes, itchy eyelids.  This condition can be bacterial caused or a complication of another skin condition like rosacea.

Styles can lead to some other complications though not dangerous. Some of these complications caused by styes include:

Chalazion: long-term internal styes can give rise to this condition. They develop if a gland on the eyelids becomes blocked. They are painless unless they get infected and can be treated using an antibiotic.

Preseptal cellulitis: it is an inflammation of the skin layers surrounding the eye it is as a result of the spread of the infection that caused the stye.  It causes the eyelids to redden and swell. It can be treated using antibiotics.

Over the last several years, Dallas has seen an increase in these eye conditions.


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