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Welcome to Eye Associates of Greater Columbia

What is a Stye (or Sty)?

A stye develops when a gland at the edge of the eyelid becomes infected. Resembling a pimple on the eyelid, a stye can grow on the inside or outside of the lid. A stye is not harmful to vision, and it can occur at any age.

A stye is caused by staphylococcal bacteria which found in the nose and is transferred easily to the eye when you rub first your nose, then your eye. Virtually all people everyone have this bacteria within their body, thus we all have the potential to develop a stye without outside contamination.

With that said, if you have an eye stye, you don't want the bacteria within to come into contact with someone else's eye. This could cause them to develop a stye or other infection as well. So keep your eyes and hands clean, and don't share washcloths or towels with others.

Stye Symptoms

Include redness, pain, tenderness and swelling in the affected area. During the height of inflammation, the entire eyelid can swell. It can cause frequent watering of the eye, increased light sensitivity and the feeling like something is in the eye.

Stye Diagnosis and Treatment

Most styes often heal on their own within a couple of days. Applying hot compresses for 10 to 15 minutes, 3X-4x daily is recommended.

A stye which forms on the inside of the eyelid either disappears completely or (rarely) ruptures on its own. Because this type of stye can be more serious, we recommend you visit the Eye Associates so we can determine the best course of action including possible drainage.

If you have frequent eye styes, we may prescribe an antibiotic ointment to prevent a recurrence.

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Let us know if you have any questions about our services, or would like to set
up an appointment. For Eye Emergencies, please call us directly.