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Bid Farewell to Styes: Understanding and Treating Internal and External Hordeolums

Title: Understanding and Treating Styes: Internal and External HordeolumsWe’ve all experienced the annoyance of a red, painful bump near our eyelid at some point in our lives. This common eye condition, known as a stye, can cause discomfort and affect our daily activities.

There are two types of styes: internal hordeolums, located inside the eyelid, and external hordeolums, found along the eyelash line. In this article, we will delve into the causes, symptoms, and treatments for both types, equipping you with the knowledge needed to effectively manage these pesky eye bumps.

Internal Hordeolum (Internal Stye)

Definition and Causes:

Internal hordeolums, also known as internal styes, are caused by a bacterial infection, most commonly by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. This infection occurs when the oil glands within the eyelid, called Meibomian glands, become blocked and inflamed.

Symptoms and Treatment:

– Symptoms: Common signs of an internal hordeolum include a painful bump on or near the lash line, itching of the eyelid, eyelid swelling or redness, eye or eyelid pain, oozing or crusting, eye redness, and even eyelash loss. – Treatment: To manage the discomfort, apply a warm compress to the affected area several times a day for approximately 10-15 minutes.

Make sure to use a clean, lint-free cloth or cotton pad. Sterile eye drops prescribed by your doctor may also help alleviate inflammation and provide relief.

Gentle eyelid massage can aid in the drainage of the blocked oil gland and promote healing.

External Hordeolum (External Stye)

Definition and Causes:

External hordeolums, or external styes, occur when one or more of the Zeis glands, responsible for producing oil and lubricating the eyelashes, become infected. This type of stye is typically caused by Staphylococcus bacteria and is often linked to poor hygiene practices or improper handling of contact lenses.

Symptoms and Treatment:

– Symptoms: The predominant symptoms of an external hordeolum include soreness and redness along the eyelash line, eyelid swelling, grittiness, eye pain, light sensitivity, and eye tearing or watering. – Treatment: Applying a warm compress to the affected area for around 10-15 minutes, several times a day, can help relieve pain and reduce swelling.

Avoiding contact lenses and eye makeup during the stye’s healing process is encouraged to prevent further irritation. Antibacterial creams may be prescribed by your healthcare professional to alleviate symptoms and promote recovery.

In severe cases, surgical removal or drainage may be necessary.


Understanding the differences between internal and external hordeolums is crucial in managing these troublesome eye conditions. By recognizing the symptoms and seeking appropriate treatment, you can effectively alleviate discomfort and promote faster healing.

Remember, always consult with a healthcare professional for accurate diagnosis and personalized recommendations. In conclusion, understanding and effectively managing internal and external hordeolums, or styes, is essential for managing the discomfort and promoting faster healing.

Internal hordeolums are caused by a bacterial infection of the Meibomian glands, while external hordeolums result from infected Zeis glands. Symptoms include bumps, redness, swelling, pain, and oozing.

Treatment options include warm compresses, sterile eye drops, and gentle eyelid massage. Maintaining proper hygiene practices, such as handwashing and avoiding contact lenses and eye makeup, can prevent external styes.

Remember to consult with a healthcare professional for accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment recommendations. Take control of your eye health, and don’t let styes hinder your daily life and well-being.

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