Sties

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A sty is a bacterial infection near the root of an eyelash. It is a very common infection that is rarely serious, although it is typically painful. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about sties in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

A sty is a red, tender bump on the eyelid. It can make the lid swell and feel itchy. Sties are normally smaller than a pebble, but the discomfort and swelling tend to make them feel huge.

A sty appears when an oil gland at the base of an eyelash becomes clogged. Over a few days, a sty usually comes to a headlike a pimpleand drains on its own.

Sometimes a sty will persist for weeks without coming to a head. In these cases, a doctor may choose to open and drain the sty. Good hygiene can help hair follicles from becoming clogged and forming sties.

Hot moist compresses three or four times a day will help a sty come to a head and drain.

Growths on the eyelid that are not red and painful are usually cysts, rather than sties. Although any unusual lump or growth should be checked by a doctor, most eyelid cysts are harmless and do not need to be removed.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.