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  • Writer's picturekyndall wood

Stye Causes and Symptoms

Styes are a common and uncomfortable form of eye infection. Find out what at stye is, what are the signs and symptoms and when to call your optometrist. There are serious complications for ignoring a stye.


Stye: infected oil gland affecting your top or bottom eye lid. oil glands are scientifically called meibomian glands, but oil glands with suffice!

  • not to be confused with tear ducts

Official name: hordeolum

Signs & Symptoms of a Stye

(sign: an objective and observable manifestation of the disease or infection; Symptom: a subjective, felt manifestation of the disease from the patients perspective)


Signs: swollen bump on the outer rim of the eye lid where the lid meets the lashes; can look similar to a pimple; redness, and swelling of the eyelid; it can be localized or spread across the entire eyelid

  • if it becomes severe and untreated swelling can extend down into the cheek

Symptoms: pain and/or tenderness, warm to the touch, can feel tight or pressure feeling in or around the eyelids; tenderness or soreness when you blink


When to see your optometrist

  • early signs of stye- at the first signs of mild tenderness on the eyelid and scant amount of localized swelling; start using an optometrist recommended heat mask on your eyes multiple time a day. This opens up your oil glands that are clogged and infected and will allow the bacteria to be released and flow out from the glands.


  • full blown infection- if at any point while using the heat mask the signs and symptoms become worse, see your optometrist as soon as possible. If you notice the stye and theres already swelling across the entire eyelid, and the pain causing disruption in your day to day life- then see your optometrist as soon as possible


untreated styes can cause cellulitis which can spread to other areas of the eye or worse case scenario, the brain.


what to expect at your appointment:

  • Your optometrist will look at the eye infection under a microscope

  • may place special dyes in the eye to determine other contributing causes such as dry eye or blepharitis

  • in some cases these infections can require multiple prescriptions such as drops and oral medications to treat this type of infection; your optometrist will assess the infection and decided the best treatment plan


how to prevent stye:

  • invest in a heat mask and use daily (linked below)

  • intentional hard blinking after heat therapy (helps flush out meibomian glands)

  • routine lid scrubs of the eye lids and lashes (linked below)


Bruder Heat Mask:

Lid Scrubs


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