What is Sty?
A Sty is a bacterial infection that looks like a boil or a pimple occurring on the eyelid and is often filled with pus. Also known as a hordeolum, it affects the minuscule oil glands that the eyelids are rich in leading to the condition.
There are two types of sties:
- External: This type occurs at the base of the eyelash and is mostly caused by an infection in the follicles of the hair.
- Internal: This type occurs inside the eyelid and is caused by an infection in the oil-producing glands.
Sty Symptoms differ for everybody depending on its location and its severity. Some of the most common signs and symptoms include:
- A pimple-like red lump on the eye.
- Pain and swelling in the eyelid.
- Excessive tear production.
- Soreness and itchiness around the eyelid area.
- Formation of crust around the eyelid.
Most of the time the symptoms of a Sty are not painful and are known to go away in 8-10 days. However, if they don’t go away on their own and cause excessive irritation, redness, and swelling in the eye, you must seek medical help.
Who is at risk?
Sty risk factors are those that make a certain set of people more vulnerable than others. Some of the common reasons why some people get this condition are:
- Children are at a higher risk than adults.
- If you have suffered from a Sty before, there is a chance that you may get it again.
- People who suffer from blepharitis, which is long-term inflammation of the eyelid.
- Those who suffer from rosacea, a condition that causes redness of the face.
- People who maintain unsanitary conditions.
- Diabetic people.
There are several Sty causes that contribute to this condition. Some of the most common causes include:
- An infection in the eyelids caused by the bacterium staphylococcus. This happens when the mucus from the nose and the delicate eye area come in contact with each other.
- Using contact lenses without disinfecting them.
- Touching the eyes with unclean hands.
- Using expired cosmetics or leaving eye makeup overnight.
- Having chronic inflammation of the eyelid.
How is Sty Diagnosed?
A Sty is generally diagnosed by the doctors by having a look at your eye and the eyelid area. Sty diagnosis is done by holding a magnifying glass against your eye and examining it.
How is Sty Treated?
Sty treatments depend on how severe your condition is. The treatments range from simple home care to surgery in chronic cases. Some of the most common lines of treatment include:
- Home treatments: Applying a wet and warm compress for 5-10 minutes around 5-6 times every day helps in relieving off the discomfort. This compress also helps in the Sty to drain and heal faster.
- Antibiotics: Antibiotics are very effective Sty medications that are prescribed when the home remedies are not working. For mild cases, you will be prescribed eye drops or topical creams to apply. If your sties persist, spread, or constantly recur, you will be prescribed Sty medicine in a tablet form.
- Surgery: If your doctor feels that none of the above treatments are working, she/he may advise surgery. This is a helpful Stye cure that drains stubborn sties of their pus and offers immediate relief.
While sties are known to be non-complicated inflictions, when they start recurring they make the situation painful. Another serious complication with sties is that they may harm your vision if not treated in time as they distort the shape of your cornea. It is strongly recommended that you seek medical attention if your sties refuse to dry up even after 10 days. At our platform Care.fit, you can access and consult the top ophthalmologists of the country for quick relief. Know more about us on our website or mobile application.
How can Sty be prevented?
Sty prevention is quite simple since it mostly depends on maintaining good personal hygiene. Some tips that can help you in preventing getting sties and avoiding their recurrence include:
- Keeping your hands clean: You should wash your hands with soap and water several times a day and keep them away from your eyes. You should especially not touch your eyes with unclean hands when you wear contact lenses.
- Use good quality cosmetics: You should not use old or expired cosmetics. Avoid sharing them with others and always remove eye makeup at night.
- Keep your lenses clean: Disinfecting your contact lenses before you wear them and handling them with clean hands goes a long way in the prevention of sties.
- Manage your health: Managing conditions like blepharitis and rosacea can help in preventing the occurrence of sties.
- Use compresses: If you have suffered from sties before, applying a warm and wet compress to the eyelids helps in preventing their recurrence.
- Don’t share personal items: You should not share personal items like towels and tissues etc. with others. This helps in preventing the spread of sties to a great extent.