STY is the common term used for an acute infection of the hair follicle or glands at the edge of the eye lid. It is usually caused by the Staphylococcus germ. The correct medical term is HORDEOLUM.These are very common in children, in those with chronic lid infections,diabetics, and sometimes in debilitated patients with poor hygiene.
  STIES tend to be painful, especially in the early stages when swelling and redness are prominent. With time they often form an abscess and point to the skin, more rarely toward the eye ball itself.They are very contagious. 
 TREATMENT consists of frequent hot packs which usually speed up the whitehead formation and pointing to the surface. Antibiotic drops help todecrease the number of germs present and prevent spread. Plucking out thelash from the middle of a sty will often promote its drainage. Rarely is surgical drainage necessary. If the tissues surrounding the STY are swollen and seem infected as well, oral antibiotics may be helpful in clearing up the matter more rapidly. Scarring is a very rare consequence of STIES.
   Prevention of spread is important by careful hygiene, care of wash towels and hand cloths, and avoidance of close personal contacts during the acute phase of the disease.

© nholland 2002