Eye Sty – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Methods

A sty is an acute infection or inflammation of the secretory glands of the eyelids. A sty also may arise from an infected hair follicle at the base of an eyelash. It is sometimes referred to as a pigpen or “pig parlor.” Pigsties are generally fenced areas of bare dirt and/or mud. It is caused by bacteria that normally live peacefully on the eyelid skin surface. It is a red, painful lump on the edge or inside of your eyelid that may look like a boil or a pimple. Also known as hordeolums, styes can be caused by different factors such as blocked or infected eyelid glands or inflammation of eyelids. Contaminated fingers that touch the eye area also can cause infection. The eyelid becomes sore. The infection may spread along the eyelid and the whole lid may become red and inflamed. If an internal hordeolum doesn’t drain and heal, it can turn into a chalazion. A sty results from an acute infection of the oil glands of the eyelid that occurs after these glands have become clogged.

Causes of Sty

The common causes and risk factor’s of Sty include the following:

An infection in the sebaceous (oil producing) or sweat glands in the eyelid.

A chalazion develops when an oil gland in the eyelid becomes blocked.

Using mascara, eyeliner, or other eye products, which can irritate the eye.

Rubbing the eyes.

Symptoms of Sty

Some symptoms related to Sty are as follows:

A painful, red and tender lump develops on the eyelid.

Tiny, yellowish spot develops at the center of the swollen area.

Eye becomes sensitive to light.

Swelling of the eyelid.


Sometimes the infection drains and the eyelid returns to normal without treatment.

Treatment of Sty

Here is list of the methods for treating Sty:

Most styes will drain on their own though this may be accelerated with a hot or warm compress.

Use make-up remover rather than just soap and water to remove eye make-up. This prevents heavy rubbing of your eyes and more completely removes the make-up.

Although antibiotics are sometimes used to treat styes, they do not really help much.

If a style or chalazion gets very large, the doctor may need to pierce (lance) it so it can drain and heal.

An antibiotic ointment may be prescribed if the stye does not clear.

Paracetamol will also help relieve the pain of a stye.

A stye does not begin to improve after 3 days of home treatment or does not heal in one week.