Stye (hordeolum) is a relatively common problem affecting the eyes. It is not dangerous but it may cause which fixes the eye doctor. It is not dangerous, but it can cause a whole number of difficulties.


The main problem is obstruction of the sebaceous glands and sweat glands in the eyelid. The obstruction causes local inflammation, which may be secondary infected by bacteria. The risk increases in people who frequently rub their eyes and in inadequate hygiene (unwashed hands, towel sharing, etc.). Increased risk of infection is in patients with weakened immunity (e.g. diabetics).


A stye looks like a reddish bump, which is located on the outer side of the eyelid, but sometimes it occurs on the inner side and is visible only when the eyelid is turned around. The lesion may contain fluid and sometimes eve pus. Winking by the affected eye is uncomfortable, itchy and leads to overproduction of tears. Larger forms of stye may even impair the vision.


A stye is visible by the naked eye and the diagnosis can be made by a general practitioner. However, the most competent doctor is in this case the ophthalmologist.


A stye may spontaneously burst spilling its content and the tissue heals. When the stye persists or causes any trouble, it is advisable to visit an ophthalmologist. The doctor can cut the stye with a sterile instrument and drain the fluid or pus, which accelerates the healing process. When there is a suspected bacterial infection, the doctor prescribes local antibiotics, usually in form of ointments.


Jiri Stefanek, MD  Author of texts: Jiri Stefanek, MD
 Sources: basic text sources