GC: n

S: NHS – (last access: 29 November 2018); MD – (last access: 29 November 2018).

N: 1. From obsolete English styan, from Middle English styanye ‘eye with a sty’, from Old English stīgend ‘sty’, from stīgan ‘to go up’, ‘rise’. First known use in 1617.
2. A red, tender bump on the eyelid that is caused by an acute infection of the oil glands of the eyelid.
3. Types:

  • hordeolum: a blockage of one of the sweat glands found in the skin of the lid and base of the eyelashes, or one of the small sebaceous glands found at the base of the eyelashes. Sebaceous glands secrete sebum, a waxy, oily material.
  • chalazion: a blockage of a meibomian gland, which is a special oil gland (sebaceous) unique to the eyelids. These glands form a single row in each lid, with the body of the gland located inside the eyelid, and the opening located at the rim of the lid, posterior to the lashes.

4. Causes: a gland in or on the eyelid may become plugged or blocked if the gland’s opening is obstructed by scar tissue or a foreign substance (makeup, dust), or if there is thickening of the substance produced by the gland, causing the material to flow sluggishly or not at all.
You’re also more likely to get a stye if you have long-term blepharitis.
5. Risk factors: The most common risk factor is sluggish outflow of the sebum from the meibomian glands, which is commonly seen in a chronic inflammatory condition called meibomian gland dysfunction (also commonly called meibomian gland disease, meibomitis, meibomianitis, or blepharitis). Meibomian gland dysfunction is frequently associated with acne rosacea on the cheeks and nose but can also be seen alone.
Other risks include obstruction of the gland’s opening by scar tissue following infections, burns, or trauma. Foreign substances such as makeup and dust can also clog the gland’s opening if not properly washed away.
6. Signs:

  • presence of a lump or bump (like a pimple) on the edge of the eyelid;
  • redness of the skin overlying the eyelid bump;
  • swelling and puffy appearance of the eyelid.

7. Treatment to reduce swelling and help the stye heal:

  • soak a clean flannel in warm water;
  • hold it against your eye for 5 to 10 minutes;
  • repeat this 3 or 4 times a day.

Avoid wearing contact lenses and eye make-up until the stye has burst and healed.

S: 1. MW – (last access: 29 November 2018). 2 to 6. – (last access: 29 November 2018). 7. NHS – (last access: 29 November 2018).


CR: amaurosis, amblyopia, bacterium, blepharitis, blindness, chalazion, diplopia, glaucoma, nyctalopia, ophthalmology, quadrantanopia, trachoma, xerophthalmia.