The eye enables individuals to visualize. It is made up of many structures and comes complete with its own protective mechanism. One such as defense mechanism is the eyelashes. Eyelashes are there for more than just a fashionable purpose. Eyelashes act as the strainer of dirt, microorganisms, and even foreign objects that might find its way to the eyes. The eyelash, like the hair, has follicles connected to glands. These follicles too can become obstructed and infected, causing an infection or a stye.
A stye is also known as a hordeolum.
- A stye refers to an infected root of an eyelash.
- The infection is basically a small collection of pus that forms into an abscess. A stye is actually a small abcess or a pus-filled sac. To the patient, it feels like a hard lump on the eyelid that can be painful.
- The stye can look yellow under the skin or mucus membrane when it becomes filled with pus.
- Repeated styes can be caused by various underlying factors because when styes are treated or disappear, it usually does not come back again.
Cause of Recurrent Styes
Styes are usually caused by staphylococci bacteria. This is a common bacteria found on the skin. When it comes into contact with other foreign parts of the body such as the eye, it can become a source of infection.
- The infection is moving from one eyelash to another. This is possible especially if the eyes aren’t thoroughly cleaned. Proper hygiene of the eye may stop the recurrence.
- An immune-compromised individual suffers from stye recurrence. Individuals can become immunocompromised from stress, poor nutrition, inadequate sleep, or an underlying medical condition.
- Recurrence may be a sign of diabetes.
Recurrent Stye Treatment
Styes are easily treated. The goal of treatment for repeated styes is to address the underlying cause for the recurrence.
- Pain relief with the use of paracetamol, ibuprofen, or aspirin.
- Water compress to help draw out the pus from the abscess without mechanical or surgical intervention.
- Antibiotic administration through the use of ointments or tablets for styes that are not responsive to conservative treatment.
- Removing or pulling of the offending eyelash is a common home remedy but should be done carefully to avoid ingrown hair formation which can actually further irritate and infect a stye.
- Scrupulous cleaning of the eye is also recommended. When an individual has a stye, it is recommended that the eye be washed gently with no-tears shampoo and rinsed well to help dislodge the bacteria or keep the eye and the eyelash clean every time.