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Eye Sty Information and Treatment

A sty is a pimple or abscess on the upper or lower edge of the eyelid that signals an infected eyelid gland. It is a sign of an infected eyelid gland. This common infection or inflammation results from blocked glands within the eyelid. When the gland is blocked, the oil produced by the gland occasionally backs up and extrudes through the wall of the gland, forming a lump, which can be red, painful, and nodular. Frequently, bacteria can infect the blocked gland, causing increased inflammation, pain, and redness of the eye and even redness of the surrounding eyelid and cheek tissue. The lump can point externally (outward) or internally (inward). Frequently, the lump appears with a visible whitish or yellowish spot that looks much like a large pimple. Usually, one obvious area of swelling is apparent on one lid, but many styes can appear on one or both eyelids simultaneously. The lump frequently goes away when the blockage of the gland opening is relieved. Furthermore, the infection goes away when the pus is drained from the sty. A sty is sometimes confused with a chalazion (see below), which is a cyst or a specific type of scarring (chronic inflammation) arising in the meibomian glands of the eyelid. In contrast to a sty, a chalazion is usually painless. For more about chalazia, please read the Chalazion article. A sty can be a symptom of other ailments such as diabetes and chronic skin problems. Sties are not contagious. They are also called hordeolums.

A sty is an inflamed or infected swelling of the sebaceous (oil-producing) glands in the eyelid. Usually a sty is filled with pus. The medical term for a sty is hordeolum. As it swells in size, the sty may make it difficult for you to see clearly because you can't fully open your eye. More than one sty can occur at a time, leading to a generalized inflammation of your eyelid a condition known as blepharitis. Fortunately, most sties disappear in just a few days. In the meantime, you can sometimes relieve the pain or discomfort of a sty with simple self-care treatments.

 

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