A stye is a painful nodule (a boil) on the edge of the lid, usually from bacterial infection of the glands buried at the root of the eyelash.
It is quite painful and can be extremely tender to the touch. After a short time, a yellow point (a pus point) appears on the lid margin, the stye tip bursts and the swelling in the lid settles down.
Warm compresses can be used to hasten the point appearing. Once it appears, if the lash at the point is pulled out, the stye will immediately flush out.
It is important to note that a stye, or for that matter any boil on the face, must never be pressed to clear out the pus. Pressure may cause the pus to flow into the blood stream and into the veins of the brain with very disastrous results.
Since it is the lash base which is involved, rubbing an antibiotic onitment along the lashes at night daily, for 2 months will prevent recurrent stye.
If a stye advances to the stage where the lid becomes very swollen oral antibiotics should be commenced at the discretion of your eye doctor.
If despite all treatment, a child has repeated styes, a vaccine prepared from the discharge will cure the condition.
Often an eye examination may reveal a small spectacle number and prescribing the glasses may stop repeated styes.
The simple procedure of washing the face every night with warm water and soap, special care being taken around the eyes, should be followed as a routine in all patients with a history of styes.