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A sty is a pimple or abscess that forms in either the upper or lowereyelid. The medical term for sty is hordeolum(say HOR-dee-oh-lumm) andit is an infection caused by bacteria that normally live peacefully onthe eyelid skin surface. Some of thee germs get trapped along with deadskin cells inside crypts along the eyelid margin. Stys are usuallysuperficial and plainly visible. Occasionally they can reside deeperwithin the eyelid.
An external sty starts as a pimple next to an eyelash. It turns intoa red, painful swelling that usually lasts several days before itbursts and then heals. Most external stys are short-lived andself-limiting.
An internal sty(on the underside of the lid) also causes a red,painful swelling, but its location prevents the familiar whitehead fromappearing on the eyelid. The internal sty may disappear completely oncethe infection is past, or it may leave a small fluid-filled cyst ornodule that can persist and may have to be opened and drained.
Folks tend to confuse a sty with another common lid lump - thechalazion (say cha-LAY-zee-yon). A chalazion is very different from asty and is not an infection. It is instead a firm, round, smooth,painless bump usually some distance from the edge of the lid. Achalazion is a local tissue reaction to oily glandular secretions thatwere unable to reach the lid surface because the duct was blocked bydebris.
Stys and chalazia are usually harmless and rarely affect youreyeball or your eyesight. They can occur at any age and tend toperiodically recur.
Stys are usually caused by staphylococcal bacteria, which often liveright on the skin surface. Truth be told, our bodies are coated withbillions of friendly bacteria that coexist with us. When the conditionsare just right the bacteria feast on dead cells and other debris,resulting in the tender pimple.
For the sake of comparison, a chalazion is caused by the blockage oftiny eyelid gland ducts that normally transports an oily substancecalled meibom. This oily material enters the tear film to prevent tearevaporation. Trapped or misplaced oil stimulates the immune system tocleanup the mess. Chalazia develop over weeks-to-months.http://my.webmd.com/content/article/7/1680_53912Here are some photos of a chalazionhttp://images.google.co.uk/images?q=chalazion&sourceid=mozilla-search&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&sa=N&tab=wiAnd Styehttp://images.google.co.uk/images?svnum=10&hl=en&lr=&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-GB%3Aofficial&q=stye&btnG=Search
A chalazion is a lump in the eyelid that is causedby inflammation of a gland within the skin. Typically, this lump growsover days to weeks and is occasionally red, warm, or painful.
The gland involved in the formation of a chalazionis a modified sweat gland that lies within the eyelid. This glandproduces oil. When this gland becomes blocked, it can rupture and theinflammation process begins.
Treatment of the chalazion may include the following:
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