WHAT IS A STYE? By Dr. Martha Jay, Milwaukee area Ophthalmologist
You’ve seen it or maybe had one yourself. It’s a red and tender bump on the eyelid. A stye (also spelled "sty") develops when a gland at the edge of the eyelid becomes infected. The medical term for a stye is hordeolum. It can occur on the inside or outside of the eyelid. Styes are not harmful to your vision but can become quite uncomfortable and unattractive.
Initial symptoms of a stye include pain, redness, tenderness and swelling in the area. They are very common this time of year with the warmer weather as we are perspiring more. The glands around the eyelid that are affected are called meibomian glands and they are sebaceous glands or sweat glands.
A stye results from an acute infection of these meibomian glands that occurs after they become clogged. A stye also may arise from an infected hair follicle at the base of an eyelash. The bacterium Staphylococcus aureus is responsible for 90-95% of cases of styes. A stye can also develop as a complication of a low-grade eyelid infection called blepharitis.
Treatment begins with applying warm compresses over the affected area four times per day and cleansing the area with baby shampoo twice daily. A prescription antibiotic ointment that is safe around the eyes may also be necessary. The stye may rupture and drain, resulting in quicker healing. If not, occasionally lancing in the office is required.
Give us a call should you be bothered by a stye or other eye problems. We have three doctors and two offices in Ozaukee County for your convenience.
Dr. Martha Jay is part of the eye care team at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals. Her other colleagues are Dr. Mark German and Dr. Josephine-Liezl Cueto. They offer a full array of medical and surgical eye care options including general eye care, blade-free LASIK Vision Correction, small incision cataract surgery, glaucoma treatment, macular degeneration treatment, dry eye options, contact lens fitting and much more. They have two offices in Ozaukee County, one in Mequon and the other in Saukville. Both are minutes from Milwaukee just off Highway 43.
For more information about eye care and other blog entries, visit their web site at www.LakeShoreVision.com or call 262-241-1919 for an appointment.