Sty – Causes, symptoms, signs and other risk factors


When you have a bump which is a result form blocked gland in or on your eyelid, then you have a condition which is known as sty. Also many people spell this word with the word “stye”. There are two types of this condition known as chalazion hordeolum. Each type of sty has different cause and different treatment. When you have a hordeoleum, then you have a blockage of one of the sweat glands which are found on the base of your eyelashes and the skin of your lid. Hordeoleum (type of sty) can be formed on the sebaceous glands which are found at the base of your eyelashes. These glands are secreting a sebum which is oily and waxy material. If you have chalazion, then this is a case of blockage on the meibomian gland. This kind of glands is special type of sebaseous gland which is found on your eyelids. In each lid you can see a single row which is formed by this kind of gland.  They are located inside of your glands. This kind of gland is secreting oil to the surface of your eyes which means that is preventing the tears of dropping to quickly when you blink. When your glands are not functioning well, then you can have increased risk of getting symptoms of dry eye. [1]

Causes for sty

When gland on one eyelid or in the both eyelids is blocked and plugged, then you have a condition which is known as sty. This can be result from foreign substances such as dust, make up, scar tissue or if there is thickening of the substances which are produced by your glands which means that your material is flowing sluggishly or it is not flowing at all.

Risk factors for a sty: When there is a sluggish outflow of the sebum from your meibomian glands which is a chronic inflammatory condition is the most common cause for this kind of problem. This kind of condition is also known as meibomitis or meibomian gland dysfunction. When you have acne rosacea on your nose and cheeks, then this condition leads to meibomian gland dysfunction. But also this kind of problem can be cause if there is not acne rosacea on your nose and cheeks. Also there can be other risks for the obstruction of the gland’s opening such as trauma, infections and burns. If you do not wash your glands properly, then this can lead to sty because the foreign substances such as dust and make up can be a reason for this kind of condition. You should not be worried for this kind of condition because if you have it that does not mean that some other person will get sty from you. You should know that this kind of infection is not contagious. [2]


Signs and symptoms of sty

Here are the symptoms of this kind of disease:

  • Pressure
  • In some cases you can feel a pain in the area where you have bump
  • When you are blinking you are feeling that you have foreign body in your eyes
  • Also you can feel blurred vision if the pus or sebum spreads on the surface of your eyes

Here are the signs that can tell you that you are affected with this kind of infection [3]:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Puffy appearance of your eyelids
  • Presence of lump or bump in your eyelids

If you have sty and you have noticed that it is draining material from the opening of your glands, then you can notice crusty material or discharge which is accumulated on the lashes and lids of your eyes. In some cases when you have sty, then you feel that your skin is thin. Also this kind of material can break through your skin. Also when you have tears they can help you to response the pain and irritation. If you have noticed some of the mentioned signs and symptoms, then you should go to your doctor. Your doctor will make all tests that are need to be sure that you have this condition. He or she will tell you the right cause for your condition. They will give you the right treatment no matter is this treatment a medical treatment or home remedy. It is very important to start with the treatment as soon as possible because if this condition spreads to other part of eyes it will be difficult for curing. Also it is very important for your doctor to know the real cause for sty because in other way he cannot give you the right treatment. [4,5]


[1] Kabat AG, Sowka JW. Stye vs. stye. Review of Optometry. 2016. Retrieved from

[2] Tah V, Saha K, Myerscough J, et al. Dry eye — An insight into meibomian gland dysfunction. In Ophthalmology – Current Clinical and Research Updates. 2014.

[3] Styes and chalazia (inflammation of the eyelid): What can you do if you have a stye or a chalazion? In Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). 2006.

[4] Lindsley K, Nichols JJ, Dickersin K. Interventions for acute internal hordeolum. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2010;9:CD007742.

[5] Prakruthi G, Santosh Kumar S, Hamsaveni V, Sujathamma K. An expeditious recovery from stye – A case study. Delhi Journal of Ophthalmology. 2018.


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