A stye is an infection that occurs on the eyelid. It results in a painful, pimple-like bump. Styes typically occur on the outside of the eyelid, but they may also develop on the inside of the eyelid. When this occurs, health experts call it an internal stye.
The article discusses internal styes, including their symptoms and causes and when to seek treatment.
A stye, which healthcare professionals refer to as
Internal styes form on the inside of the eyelid. With internal styes, the pain and swelling may be worse due to the deeper location of the affected glands.
An internal stye can cause some of the following symptoms:
- swelling, tenderness, or pain around the eyelid
- light sensitivity
- crusting around the eye
- excessive watering of the eye
- flushed skin
- a sensation of something being stuck in the eye
However, symptoms may vary from person to person.
An individual should contact a doctor if they have any symptoms of a stye that do not clear up within 1 week. Styes can develop quickly and are typically painful to the touch.
Symptoms of a stye can be similar to those of other eye conditions, such as chalazion.
A stye can manifest with a small, painful lump that has formed at the base of the eyelashes.
An external lump may appear at the base of the eyelashes of the upper eyelid. By contrast, an internal stye appears on the inside of the eyelid.
Internal styes occur when the meibomian glands become infected. The meibomian glands are types of sebaceous glands that produce an oily layer on the surface of the eye to aid proper lubrication.
Treatment often involves using warm compresses for
In addition, some other home treatments can help speed up recovery, relieve a person’s discomfort, and prevent the spread of the infection.
These treatments include:
- washing the eyelid with a gentle soap. Using a special cleanser for the eyelids may be better, as it is less disruptive to the tear film of the eye.
- gently massaging the eyelid
- using eyelid scrubs containing saline or baby shampoo to promote drainage and remove bacteria
An individual should always be careful when applying warm compresses to the eyes and massaging the eyelids. This is because these actions may cause irritation and damage the cornea.
If a person has an internal stye that is persistent or large, a doctor may prescribe topical antibiotic ointments. However, prescribing oral antibiotics is more common, as they are more effective. These may be necessary if the stye is serious and
In some cases, an ophthalmologist can perform an incision and drain the stye. A person will receive local anesthetics for this procedure.
Until the stye has healed, individuals should avoid:
- touching the eye
- wearing makeup
- wearing contact lenses
The following factors
- experiencing hormonal fluctuations
- experiencing stress
- using contaminated makeup or not removing makeup regularly
- taking out or putting in contact lenses before washing the hands properly
The American Academy of Ophthalmology states that the following conditions make it more likely for a person to develop a stye:
A person may not be able to prevent a stye from developing. However, keeping the eyes clean may help.
- wash the face and remove all makeup before bed
- keep the eyelids and eyelashes clean
- replace eye makeup every 3–6 months
- avoid sharing towels and flannels with someone who has a stye
- refrain from rubbing their eyes if they have not washed their hands
- avoid putting in contact lenses without washing their hands first
Most people with a stye will not have any complications. However, there is a risk that the infection can spread to other areas.
Less commonly, a stye can become orbital cellulitis, which is an infection that is more spread out on the skin around the area of the stye. If this occurs, a person may need antibiotic treatment.
A person should seek guidance from a doctor if they are not sure about the cause of their eye pain and swelling. There are other conditions, such as blepharitis, that can cause similar symptoms to occur in or around the eye.
A person should contact a doctor if they have an internal stye that:
- has not shown improvement within 1 week
- affects their vision
- is very swollen or painful
A person should consult a doctor if they experience symptoms of a stye. A doctor can help diagnose or rule out other potential causes of the pain, swelling, or redness.
To diagnose a stye and determine whether it is external or internal, a doctor will need to perform a physical examination. To do this, they will lift up the eyelid in order to see the stye.
A stye, including an internal stye, occurs when a person’s eyelid develops an infection in an oil gland. Bacteria are the most common cause of this infection.
For external styes or mild internal styes, a person does not always need medical attention. Often, it is possible to treat the stye at home. In most cases, an individual can expect to recover within 1 week.
However, severe internal styes may not respond to home treatment and may not resolve easily on their own. If the infection remains or does not show any signs of improvement, a person should contact a doctor about other treatment options.