Styes

Dripping eye with eyes drops

Styes, properly hordeolum, and known more generally as stye, is a bacterial infection affecting the eyelids, surrounding the eyelashes. This infection results from the staphylococcus aureus bacterium and can form on the outside of the eyelid. In this form, it is visible to the naked eye, as reddish bumps. They can also form underneath the eyelid, causing discomfort, scratching, or even problems with vision. Styes often resemble pimples on the eyelid. Similarly, these bumps are filled with watery pus. They can be successfully treated in many ways, usually with antibiotic topical ointments. Luckily, styes tend to last no longer than just over a week.

Causes           

The most common reason is the blockage of the oil gland which is located on the edge of the eyelid. A negligence of hygiene, such as improper hand-washing practices can cause this, along with other stressors which generally complicate the process of healing. These can include dehydration, getting dust in your eyes, eye irritation, and a lack of sleep or nourishment. Experiencing unsanitary conditions on a regular basis, along with the previously mentioned stressors, greatly propels the development of various health problems, and should be avoided by any individual.  Styes can be experienced by a person in these conditions and is also known for occurring in infants. A stye is also transferrable on surfaces such as washcloths, so it is imprudent to share personal items with others for its duration. For instance, it can be transferred through the sharing of eyeshadows; mascara; or through anything you would rub around the infected area.

Signs  

Monitoring for signs indicating the presence of this infection is especially important for people who have previously experienced a stye, as it often recurs. Styes can be very serious, as they can be painful and greatly impede your vision, limiting the person’s ability to work and focus. The symptoms resulting from this infection are similar to the longer-lasting chalazion. Symptoms indicating the styes infection include, among others: red bumps which can cause pain and even swelling; mucous can be present on the eyelid, as well as crustiness and a burning or scratching sensation.  The duration of the infection rarely lasts longer than two weeks. If the bumps lasts longer, and are smooth and painless, it is more likely to be chalazion.

Cures 

A lot of the time, an infection can subside on its own after a few days, when proper hygiene is maintained. There is some primary care which you should provide yourself with. This can include a better managing of the area, for instance by keeping it clean of old make-up and by soaking the face with a warm washcloth. Cleaning the face in this way can help the eyelids heal, especially if it is done daily, repetitively. If the infection persists, there is specialized care which you should seek from your doctor. There are many substances and medications available to treat styes. In some worse cases, your doctor may advise popping the bumps, to relieve pressure and discomfort.  In lighter cases, eating flaxseed is said to be beneficial. Antibiotics and ointments of bacitracin zinc are also prescribed. The worst case scenario for a person with this infection is surgery. A specialist in the field of ophthalmology will remove the bumps.