Eye Styes

Eye Styes in upper eyelid © 2019 American Academy of Ophthalmology

Definition of Eye Styes



The eye styes, or external hordeolum, are small painful swelling that occurs on the outside of the eyelid margin.

Styes are infections of the eyelash follicle and its associated eyelid sebaceous gland that is called Zeis glands.

They are more common in children and young adult and most common microorganism that cause this infection is Staphylococcus Aureus which normally lives on eyelid margin, skin and nose.



Stye symptoms and Signs

  • Eye Stye is an eye lid infection and it will cause a painful and tender swelling in the eye lid margin. It has a yellow or white head that is pointed anteriorly through the skin of the margin.

  • Some times there maybe multiple styes on the eyelid.

  • The eye is usually white but there maybe watery eye with foreign body sensation.

  • In severe infection, there maybe involvement of the whole eye lid leading to preorbital cellulitis and orbital cellulitis.


Causes of Eye styes

1- Chronic blepharitis will increase the risk of stye because with chronic blepharitis, in which there are bacteria build up and infect the glands.

2- Eye makeup without proper cleaning and removal of it.



Eye Stye Treatment 


  • Eye Stye can disappear without any treatment in which it is self-limited in most of the time.

  • Warm compresses.

  • Antibiotics eye drops and/or ointments.

  • Removal of the associated eyelash to hasten resolution.

  • In case the infection spread with abscess collection, the abscess should be drainage with systematic antibiotics.


Complications of Styes

The infection can spread and causing preorbital cellulitis with abscess collection and sometimes orbital cellulitis and in this case systemic antibiotics with admission to the hospital is required.



Is stye contagious?

The stye it self is not contagious because it is caused most of the time by staphylococcus aureus which is normally lives on nose and on eye lid.


How to prevent Eye stye?

You can prevent stye by regular washing your eyelid and complete removal of the makeup daily.



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