A stye is a localized infection or inflammation of the eyelid margin involving hair follicles of the eyelashes (ie, external hordeolum) or meibomian glands (ie, internal hordeolum). A chalazion is a painless swelling of the meibomian glands. A stye usually is a painful, localized swelling. The entire lid may also be swollen.
Blockage and infection of the sebaceous glands or a secondary infection of the meibomian glands of the eyelid.
Untreated, the disease may spontaneously resolve or it may progress to the formation of a painless mass known as a chalazion. A chalazion can be quite large and can cause visual disturbance. Sometimes a generalized swelling and infection of the eyelid may occur if left untreated.
The usual complaint is of a localized painful swelling on one eyelid, generally starting as a pricking pain on blinking.
In some cases, the complaint may start as a generalized swelling and redness of the lid that later becomes localized.
Recurrences are common.
Styes are found more frequently in persons who have the following:
Chronic blepharitis [lid infection]
High serum lipids (High lipid levels increase the blockage rate of sebaceous glands)
Small unprescribed refractive error
Hot soaks (4 times a day for 15 min) are the mainstay of treatment.
Antibiotics are indicated only when inflammation has spread beyond the immediate area of the hordeolum.
Topical antibiotics may be used for recurrent lesions and for those that are actively draining can be prevented with good lid hygiene.