A stye is a red bump near the edge of the eyelid that looks like a pimple or zit.. It is relatively common to appear, although some people are more prone than others to sprout styes more frequently.
Although they are painful and annoying, they do not represent any serious health risk. Certain care must be taken to prevent them from becoming infected and causing a major problem, and there are some solutions to alleviate the discomfort and facilitate their disappearance.
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What is a stye?
A stye is a painful bump on the eyelid.. It appears because the sebaceous glands become swollen due to an infection caused by staphylococcus bacteria.
When this bacterium lodges in one of the areas of the eyelid, it produces this swelling that gives rise to the annoying stye. If it appears on the edge of the eyelids, then it is an external stye, while if it appears on the inside, it is called an internal stye.
However, both types of styes require the same care and precautions. They have similar characteristics in terms of symptoms and possible complications, actually only the name changes according to the place where they are located.
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Staphylococcus bacteria are to blame for the appearance of the stye.. This bacterium directly affects the sebaceous glands found in the eyelids. It can lodge in the area where the eyelashes are born and cause an infection.
There are other factors that could trigger the appearance of a stye beyond a bacterial infection. Although these are not as common causes, there are known to be other causes that trigger the appearance of this annoying pimple.
These causes are hormonal changes, stress and infection (near the eye, nose or ears). Although this is less likely to happen, it should not be ruled out that its appearance may be due to any of these symptoms.
The symptoms of stye are very clear. The first thing that happens before it appears is that there is pain in the eyelid, giving redness and hypersensitivity in the area.
After these first symptoms appear, a red pimple starts to appear. It may be accompanied by inflammation throughout the eye, and in some cases there is intense tearing.
Sties do not cause damage to vision or affect it in any way. If any other type of discomfort appears in the vision or it is damaged in any way, it is important to see a doctor; this should not be related to the appearance of a stye.
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What to avoid
There are myths about how to relieve a stye, most are discouraged by doctors. One of the most common is to squeeze or pop the stye as if it were a common pimple. This should not be done for any reason as it can spread the infection and aggravate something that initially poses no risk.
A common myth is to rub any metal (mainly a ring) with clothing and put it on the stye. This became popular because the heat produced by the friction of the metal against clothing could cure the stye. But it is not a good idea and can worsen the infection.
As long as the stye is present, no cosmetics should be used in this area. The best thing to do is to get rid of the cosmetics you were using because they may already be infected and repeat the circle over and over again.
When to see a doctor?
The appearance of a stye does not require urgent medical attention.However, it is good to be able to see a professional to check the case without delay. A stye should not lead to complications, but the doctor should examine it.
A doctor should be consulted if it appears to worsen within 48 hours of its appearance. If the redness or swelling spreads to the cheeks or other nearby areas, it should be examined by a professional. Also if the vision is affected in any way.
It is also advisable to see a doctor if the appearance of styes is very frequent. In this case, a treatment or cleansing routine may be recommended, as this helps to reduce the frequency with which a stye sprouts.
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Styes have a life cycle that must be allowed to elapse.. The reality is that there is not much else to do about it. Medical treatment for styes basically consists of a series of care to avoid complications.
The first thing to do is to be extremely hygienic and not touch your eyes with dirty hands. Applying warm compresses to the eyes can help reduce inflammation. In addition, it may be advisable to wear sunglasses if you go outdoors to prevent any dirt particles from entering the eye.
In some cases the doctor may prescribe antibiotic creams. This remedy should always be at the discretion of the medical specialist and under his supervision. This is a measure that can be resorted to in some cases in the event of recurrent occurrence of styes.
How to prevent the appearance of a stye?
Some preventive measures can be taken to avoid the appearance of a stye.. Some people are much more prone than others to suffer from this discomfort, and in this situation, precautions can be taken to reduce the risk of occurrence.
The most important preventive measure is not to touch or rub your eyes with dirty hands. This is a very high risk factor, especially in people who frequently suffer from styes.
Another important measure is to use quality eye make-up products and to remove make-up daily. It is also important not to use other people’s cosmetics.
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Carlisle, R.T. y Digiovanni, J. (2015). Differential Diagnosis of the Swollen Red Eyelid. American Family Physician, 92 (2), 106–112.
Deibel, J.P. y Cowling, K. (2013). Ocular inflammation and infection. Emergency medicine clinics of North America, 31 (2), 387–397.
Tamparo, C. y Lewis, M. (2011). Diseases of the Human Body. Philadelphia, PA: F.A Davis Company.