Hordeolum; Signs, Symptoms and Management/Treatment.
04 Sep 2023
Written By Ogagifo Martin A. OD MNOA
Hordeolum commonly called stye is an inflammatory condition of the eyelid caused mainly by bacteria infection. This infection can result from constant rubbing of the eyes with infected or unhygienic hands and/or narrowing of the duct that connect the eye to the tear drainage canal.
Hordeolum is mostly a unilateral condition, affecting either the upper or lower lid of the affected eye. It can be divided into two types; the external stye and the internal stye. The external stye is obvious and depicted by an inflamed lid while the internal stye has the bulk of the inflammation in the inner part of the eyelid concealing it within the lid. Stye affects children more than adults, has a high rate of recurrence, can alternate between the two eyes, and can also appear on both eyes simultaneously in some cases.
Symptoms and Signs
Symptoms include but not limited to mild to severe pain, lid inflammation that is tender to touch, heavy lid, foreign body sensation, drooping or ectopic lid and mild irritations. Vision is usually not affected by Stye.
How is Stye Diagnosed
Stye is diagnosed by ruling out other eyelid conditions that have similar appearance by an optometrist or an ophthalmologist through a comprehensive examination and vision assessments.
Stye can undergo self-resolution at late or early stage, it can be treated with antibiotics
(topical and oral) along with anti inflammatory/analgesic medications. In some other cases stye may require surgical excision and expression of accumulated pus. Warm compress may also help to sooth the discomfort and pain that result from stye. In cases of self-resolution, stye may erupt and express pus on its own while the person is asleep. In such cases the
individual may wash with clean warm water and apply antibiotic ointment on the lesion left on the eyelid surface by the eruption or visit the eye clinic for examination. For internal stye, that undergoes eruption and pus expression, antibiotic eye ointment should be applied on the palpebra conjunctiva, the cul de sac (that is in the space between the inner surface of the
eyelid and the outer surface of the eye.
Before any attempt to treat stye as the case may be, you must first visit an eye clinic for
comprehensive examination, diagnosis and treatment regime and procedure. This is because
there are other conditions of the eye lid that can also present with inflammation or bulging of the lids (upper or lower or both eyelids. Some of which chalazion (which can actually be infected and change to stye), basal cell carcinoma, and blepharitis etc. These conditions can mimic stye at the onset, and some are vision and life-threatening conditions if not handled with care. For example, basal cell carcinoma, etc.