Has a kind of lump appeared in one of your eyes that is painful? If so, we are surely talking about a stye, which is a lump that appears in this part of the body due to an infection of glands found in the eyelids. Within this condition, we can find two types of styes: the external ones that are found on the outside of the eyelid and the internal ones that appear on the inside of the eyelid. This last type is also characterized by causing inflammation in the surrounding skin, so if you detect a very reddish tone in this part, you are probably suffering from this type of stye.
Internal stye: causes and symptoms
An internal stye is a lump that appears on the inside of the eyelid due to an infection of the Meibomian glands , which are a type of oil gland located in the corner of the eyelids. The main cause of the appearance of an internal stye is usually an infection by bacteria known as staphylococci, which live normally on the skin and in the nose, but due to poor hygiene they can move to the eyes causing these bumps. In addition, there are also some factors that increase the risk of getting this infection again, such as having diabetes, a weak immune system, or acne.
In this other post we explain more about why styes appear .
As we have already anticipated, there are two types of stye: internal and external. But how do you distinguish one from the other? Here are the main symptoms of an internal stye :
- Appearance of a lump with a yellow spot in the center of it.
- Lump of reddish tone in the lower area of the eyelid.
- Swelling and pain in the eyelid area.
- Unlike the external one, the internal one usually affects only one eye.
- Excessive tearing.
- Appearance of legañas.
How long does a stye last
Another aspect that usually worries people who suffer from it is the period of time that this eye condition can last. However, there is no specific duration of a stye since it depends directly on the patient. Even so, although an exact figure cannot be said, there are some estimates about the duration of a stye. According to the Bavarian Clinic, a stye can improve in approximately 7 to 10 days , and can disappear after that period under normal conditions.
However, although it is not usual, complications can arise during this infection, so an internal stye can last for months.
Complications of an internal stye
Although as we have indicated, a stye usually improves with the passing of days in most cases, it can also happen that on some occasions some complications may arise, such as the following:
- Appearance of a chalazion: it is a cyst that forms due to the inflammation of the Meibomian glands.
- Extension of the infection: the condition can spread both throughout the eyelid and the skin around the eye.
Stye and chalazion: what is the difference?
Although the chalazion is also a lump that appears due to the inflammation of the sebaceous glands, it is not the same as an internal stye. Here we give you the main differences so that you do not confuse a chalazion with a stye:
- The chalazion is a lump that is usually painless while the internal stye does.
- A stye usually develops on the edge of the eyelid. The chalazion appears a little further back.
- A chalazion is larger in size than an internal stye and as a result, can cause blurred vision.
Internal stye: pharmacological treatment
Generally, a stye does not require any specific treatment since in the most common cases they tend to drain on their own until they completely disappear. However, if the infection lasts longer than normal or worsens, the specialist may assign the following medical treatments for an internal stye :
Pharmacological treatment for stye
When the infection takes longer than normal to clear up, the specialist will usually assign prescription antibiotics (either in ointment or eye drops) to help fight the infection and prevent it from spreading through the skin of the eye. Among the most used antibiotics to eliminate an eye stye we find aureomycin, tobramycin, ciprofloxacin and gentamicin.
Surgical treatment for a stye
When the internal stye presents complications or evolves into a chalazion, the specialist could perform surgery to remove it. This operation will consist of making a small cut in the stye to drain its content and thus speed up its healing. However, despite the fact that it is one less surgery, it will always be performed by a specialist. That is, under no circumstances should we try to remove these bumps at home.
Home remedies to get rid of an internal stye
Although this eye area problem, under normal conditions, disappears on its own with the passing of days, we can use some of the following home remedies to cure an inner stye :
- Hot compresses: hot water can help us reduce both the inflammation and the pain caused by the stye. To do this, moisten a cloth or compress with hot water and apply it to the affected area for 10 minutes. Repeat this remedy 4 times a day.
- Chamomile bags: this plant has excellent anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, which helps reduce swelling and prevents the spread of infection. Use the bag of chamomile infusion that you have already made and apply it on the closed eye for 10 minutes. Repeat this remedy 2 times a day. Here we explain in more detail How to wash your eyes with chamomile .
- Maintain adequate hygiene: the stye is contagious, so it is very important that you wash your hands well before applying any treatment. In addition, it will also be important that you avoid sharing towels, clothes or other personal objects to avoid contagion from other people.