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Stye (Sty) or Hordeolum : Causes, Symptoms, Treatment- Antibiotics, Analgesics

What is Stye (Sty) or Hordeolum?

A stye (also spelled as sty) is a painful red bump occurring under or inside the eyelid or at the base of an eyelash. A stye results from a localized infection of hair follicle or oil glands of the eyelid. Stye is medically termed as hordeolum. It resembles a pimple.

What is Stye (Sty) or Hordeolum?

Causes of Stye (Sty) or Hordeolum

If the oil glands present in the eyelid become blocked, they become infected and result in formation of stye. The oil glands of the eyelid help in lubrication of the eyeball. A stye also results from an infected hair follicle of an eyelash. The infection is commonly caused by the bacterium staphylococcus aureus. Other medical conditions such as blepharitis, diabetes mellitus, seborrhea, and chronic debilitating illnesses may also cause stye. Excessive stress in an individual may also result in stye. The infection also occurs in those individuals who rub their nose and then their eyes.

Causes of Stye (Sty) or Hordeolum

Symptoms of Stye (Sty) or Hordeolum

  • Pain and tenderness in the eyelid.
  • Swelling and redness of the eyelid.
  • A small bump resembling a spot, zit or pimple appears on the eyelid, especially at the base of the eyelashes.
  • Minor visual impairment may be present.
  • Sty present inside the eyelid feels as if there is something stuck in the eye.

Stye (Sty) or Hordeolum

Treatment of Stye (Sty) or Hordeolum

  • Majority of the times, a stye heals on its own within a week.
  • Application of warm compress helps in alleviating symptoms and helps in faster rupture of the stye.
  • Never ever try to squeeze a stye. They usually rupture and resolve on their own.
  • Patient should see an ophthalmologist if the stye is present inside the eyelid, as it may not heal easily and is very irritating for the patient.
  • The ophthalmologist will drain the stye and may prescribe topical antibiotics for further healing and treatment.
  • In case of persistent and multiple styes, oral antibiotics may also be prescribed. This happens rarely though.
  • Over-the-counter analgesics can be used for pain relief.
  • Patient should avoid using contact lenses, rubbing the eyes and eye makeup during the treatment of stye.


  1. American Academy of Ophthalmology. (2020). What Is a Stye? https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-a-stye
  2. Mayo Clinic. (2020). Stye. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sty/symptoms-causes/syc-20378017
  3. Healthline. (2021). Styes (Stys): Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment. https://www.healthline.com/health/stye

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 22, 2023

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