Sty Eye

What is a Sty eye?

An external sty is also called hordeolum. It is basically an infection of the sebaceous glands of Zeis at the base of the eyelashes, or an infection of the apocrine sweat glands of Moll.

How is it formed?

Our eye has various small glands hidden in itself. They help in lubricating the eye and prevent against friction and dryness. Sometimes, these glands get infected from outside by infected hands, hankerchief, spectacles, or pulled eyelash. This leads to formation of a sty at that point.


External stys are formed on the outside of the lids and can be seen as small red bumps.

Internal stys are infections of the meibomian sebaceous glands lining the inside of the eyelids. They cause a red bump underneath the lid.  Generalized redness and swelling may or may not be visible on the outside.

Differential Diagnosis

A chalazion look much similar to a sty.

Differentiating features:

Signs and symptoms

Sty eye on lower part of the eye

Causes of Sty eye

They are commonly caused by a Staphylococcus aureus bacterial infection, transfer of fecal matter to the eye area or by the blocking of an oil gland at the base of the eyelash. Although they are particularly common in kids, stys are experienced by people of all ages.

Predisposing factors

Styes can be triggered by:
Also, sharing of face towels should be avoided to curtail the spread of infection between individuals.

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