What Is A Sty?


4 Answers

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Medically referred to as a hordeolum, a sty is simply an infection occurring on the eyelid. Sties are caused by the staphylococcal bacteria that normally live harmlessly on the skin of our eyelids, but when those germs become trapped inside an eyelash follicle or a tear duct, a painful, pimple-like infection results. In most instances, sties are little more than painful inconveniences but large sties can cause swelling or tearing that interferes with eyesight. In rare cases, multiple sties form along the margin of the eyelid resulting in a potentially serious condition known as blepharitis.
Most sties are "external" and occur on the outside of the eyelid. External sties tend to be short-lived and go away with no lasting damage. "Internal" sties, on the other hand, occur on the underside of the eyelid and often leave pus-filled cysts that have to be drained by a physician. Sties are often confused with another common condition known as chalazion. Chalazion are non-infectious spherical bumps that occur as a result of a blocked duct on the outer surface of the eyelid.
Most sties are self-limiting and go away after about 5 days, but you can speed up the healing process by applying hot compresses to the affected area several times a day. After the sty opens, clean the area gently with warm water and a cotton swab several times throughout the day to prevent re-infection or spreading. Most sties can be effectively treated at home but if a sty interferes with your ability to see, tends to reoccur or just doesn't seem to heal, your doctor can prescribe antibiotics.
The best way to prevent sties is simply to wash your hands regularly and avoiding touching your eyes. It's especially important for children, who may rub their eyes when tired or under stress, to be taught to wash their hands after going to the bathroom or finishing an activity. For people with normal immune systems, sties aren't terribly contagious but they can spread from person to person through touch.
Jacquelyn Mathis Profile
It sounds like conjunctivitis, which is other wise known as pink eye, which is very contagious and very easily spread. You can get something called boric acid and follow the directions on the bottle.
DON'T PANIC, when I say acid! It isn't really acid, that is just what it is called. If this doesn't clear it up, then you should go and see a doctor. Hope this helps, good luck.
Ann Dougherty Profile
Ann Dougherty answered
I always understood it to be a pimple or small boil on the edge of the eyelid in the area of the eyelashes.
Confucious has given a very full answer.  I am sure she is right about them mostly going away in a few days.
You should see your doctor, though, if it is still troubling you after a week.
Sudipa Sarkar Profile
Sudipa Sarkar answered
Sty is also referred to as Hordeolum. This is an infection in the eyelid gland. This is of two types depending on the types of gland it affects. One is external Sty, which is characterized by an infection in the sebaceous gland, which causes tears to flow out with a tender and uncomfortable feeling in eye. The second one is rather complicated and painful too. It is characterized by an infection in meibomian gland under the eyelid lining. It sometimes leaves a painless cyst after it becomes dry following a discharge from it.

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