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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11420
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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The primary care doctor thinks he has a stye on the inside

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The primary care doctor thinks he has a stye on the inside of the upper eyelid that's rubbing against the eyeball. He could not see any "object". He prescribed Gentian eyedrops and warm compresses. We'll try to get in to see the eye doctor tomorrow. What can be done if it is a stye or something plugged inside the upper eyelid? Cauterization? Cut it off? Drain it?
Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

The most common cause for swelling or bump on the eyelid is a chalazion or a stye. These bumps form when a gland in your eyelid gets plugged up and possibly infected. It is very often associated with a condition called blepharitis.

The treatment for this condition, however, is not antibiotics but rather cleaning the eyelids with baby shampoo. Buy some unscented baby shampoo and, in the shower, put the shampoo on your index fingers. Close your eyes, and raise your eyelids (to get skin out of the way) and scrub back and forth along your EYELASH margin. This is where the gland openings are located. The warm water will soften the gunk in the plugged glands, the friction and pressure of your fingers will massage the glands, forcing the gunk out and the shampoo will wash it away. You can also use warm compress to the affected lids during the day as your schedule allows.

This treatment will help to treat the bump on your eyelid while at the same time solving your underlying blepharitis. The lump may take many weeks to go away but you should notice some improvement in a few days or so.

Dr. Rick :

I'd give the above treatment time to work before rushing in to have it incised and drained (the surgical treatment of choice). In the majority of cases surgery can be avoided.

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
This "irritation/object/stye" is not located at the eyelash area but high underneath the upper inner eyelid. He says it feels like a rock is lodged there and it moves up and down when he blinks. The primary care doctor did not see anything under the lid so thought it was a "stye" under the lid.

1. I didn't know styes or chalazion problems could occure ON the INSIDE of an eyelid and why so high up from the eyelashes??

2. Would over the counter stye medication help, if it is a stye on the inside of the upper eyelid??

We're trying to get an emergency eye appointment as he is diabetic and his vision has been gauzy in that eye.

3. Could something else be going on?

It seems like nothing can be done but take care of the eye infection (it is matting, red and oozing) and wait it out while applying warm compresses.

4. Are there drops available to numb the eye while he waits it out?
1. Yes, they can definitely occur in that area. This is very common.
2. No. The OTC stye medicine really doesn't work very well at all, even if it is on the lid margin.
3. Yes, of course something else could be going on. Since I can't examine your eye I have to go on what you "type" to me. That being said, I feel very confident that you have a chalazion/stye.
4. No. There is no OTC numbing drops to relieve the discomfort. The numbing drops used in the doctors office are very dangerous if used for chronic pain relief as they can cause a hole to "melt" through your eyeball, causing complete loss of the eye.
Primary care doctors really don't have the equipment nor the training to treat this condition, although they may be able to diagnose it. If you are concerned the best person to see would be, as you have already surmised, an ophthalmologist.
I hope this information is helpful. Let me know if there is anything else I can add to our conversation.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Update - My husband went to his eye doctor today and he did not observe any particles, a stye or a chalazion cyst. He did observe a large scratch on the lower front of the eyeball (a square patch on the lower part of the Iris and below the iris). He prescribed a gel ointment, Tobradex, 3 x a day.

How long does it take for it to relieve the "rock particle irritation feeling" in the eye?
Thank you so much for the update! I really appreciate it.
His eye should feel better in 24 hours or so, and everything should be back to normal in 48 hrs if the problem that caused the corneal abrasion has been removed/solved.
It is interesting that the problem initially seemed to be high up on the upper eyelid but the damage was located on the lower part of the cornea....oh well, life is like that sometimes :)
I'm glad that your husband in on the road to recovery. Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help. Take care.
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