The eye is an important and delicate organ of the human body. Any injury or infection to the eye may lead to serious complications and at times may result in blindness. Eye infections are caused by viral, bacterial or microbiological agent’s effect on the eye. Blepharitis and pink eye are the most common forms of eye infections. Trachoma, which can spread easily, is another common form, especially in poor countries. Trachoma may lead to permanent blindness in some cases. Though most of the eye infections are mild in nature certain forms of eye infections can lead to serious complications and hence require immediate medical attention. Any part of the eye (eyelids, cornea, optic nerves etc.) can be infected by the eye infections.
Is a stye an infection?
An eye stye (sty) is an infection of the glands at the base of the eyelashes. These glands secrete either oil or sweat and can sometimes become inflamed. A stye is also sometimes referred by its medical term as hordeolum. A stye can be external or internal depending on its location on the eye. An external stye is also called external hordeolum while an internal stye is sometimes referred to as internal hordeolum.
External styes are found on the outside of the eyelids and often look like a small red bump or a pimple usually at the base of the eyelashes. lnternal styes are infections of the oil-secreting glands that line the inside of the eyelids. While both types of hordeolum can cause discomfort, an internal stye is certainly more painful than an external stye.
Styes usually have a sudden onset and often last around 7-10 days if not treated right away. Stye prevention is closely related to proper hygiene. Proper hand washing is critical. People should also try to avoid rubbing their eyes, to prevent easy transmission of bacteria to the eyelid. For people prone to getting styes, eyelid scrubs can be used regularly to clean the eyelids and prevent bacterial infections or blockages of the eyelid glands.
It is also recommended not to share items used on the eye such as contacts’or cosmetics. Women are advised to remove eye makeup at night and to properly clean their cosmetic tools. Unfortunately, eye styes are stubborn and often reoccur. However, proper daily hygiene and eye stye treatment can reduce the severity and frequency that these styes occur.
Causes of Stye Infections
Styes are commonly caused by bacteria. Usually, Staph infection is regarded as the primary culprit – either Staphylococcus aureus or Staphylococcus intermedius, as these are the two most common bacteria found on the skin.
Styes can also be caused by the blocking of the oil glands at the base of the eyelashes. Styes are common in people of all ages and are one of the most common eye conditions. They are often triggered by stress, poor nutrition, lack of sleep, or poor hygiene. Bacteria can also be transferred to the eye from other parts of the body, and usually occurs when frequent rubbing of the eyes occur. Below are some of the specific causes of stye.
Internal Stye Causes
An internal stye is often associated with an infection of the Meibomian gland. These glands produce a fatty fluid that combines with the tear film in our eyes. Blockage or abnormality in the function of the gland itself can result in infection.
Blepharitis is also a common cause of an internal stye and bacterial infection is one of its leading causes. Blepharitis results in inflammation and redness of the eyelids. Some of its symptoms include itchy eyelids, sore eyes, and crusty eyelashes.
External Stye Causes
The causes of external styes can be several types of infections. It can be an infection of an eyelash follicle, the sebaceous gland, or the apocrine gland.
The eyelash follicle, where your eyelashes grow, can get infected by bacteria or fungus. The sebaceous gland, on the other hand, is attached to the eyelash follicles. This gland is what produces the sebum that lubricates our lashes. If this area is not kept clean, it can easily get infected. Lastly, the apocrine gland is a sweat gland that’s also connected to the eyelash follicle. The blockage is the main cause of infection of this gland.
Symptoms of a Stye Infection
When a stye is first developing, the eye or eyelid may be itchy, tender, or uncomfortable. When the stye first begins to appear, there may be a small bump that looks similar to a pimple. As the stye progresses, the bump may enlarge and the eyelid may swell. The eye may become red and uncomfortable as well. ln serious cases, vision may become impaired.
Other stye symptoms may include:
- A small bump on the eyelid, usually at the base of the eyelashes
- A localized or general swelling of the eyelid
- Pain and discomfort in the affected eye
- Redness of the eyelid or the eye itself
- A sensation of a foreign body in the eye
- Tenderness or discomfort when the eye is touched
- Crusting of the eyelid margins
- Burning in the eye
- Droopiness of the eyelid
- Blurred vision
- Mucous discharge in the eye
- Sensitivity to light or photophobia
- Excessive tearing in the affected eye
- Discomfort when blinking the eye
Are stye infections contagious?
Yes, stye infections are contagious. This is the main reason why people with such condition are advised to wash their hands after treating the affected area to avoid spreading the infection to others.
In the case that your stye eye infection persists, other eye conditions may develop. These can include chalazion and preseptal cellulitis. A chalazion is a nodule inside your eyelid that will start to develop if a gland is blocked. Preseptal cellulitis, on the other hand, is an infection of the eyelid and the surrounding skin which causes inflammation. In these cases, your doctor will likely prescribe some antibiotics.
How to Treat a Stye
Eye styes are harmless in most cases and usually go away within a week. With adequate treatment, styes tend to heal quickly, rarely have complications. If the stye is getting worse or any part of the actual eye is affected, seek medical attention immediately.
The first step in treating a stye is to apply a warm compress to the affected eye. Soak a cloth in warm water, squeeze the water out, and apply to the affected area. This should be done 4 to 5 times a day for approximately 15 minutes each time. By doing this, it will help open up and drain the stye. It will help start the healing process.
The stye should then be scrubbed gently with a non-irritating, antibacterial solution. It is important to mention that even though the stye may look like a pimple, it should never be squeezed or punctured, as a serious eye infection could result.
A stye is an infection of the glands at the base of the eyelid and popping it can actually do more harm. The stye can become even more infected and can even spread the infection to other parts of the body. Using the warm compress will accomplish the same goal of opening the stye up to drain without the trauma induced by popping it.
People with eye styes should also avoid wearing eye makeup or contact lenses, as this could aggravate the area and even spread the infection.
Other treatments that may be helpful are to use various eye ointments or drops that provide relief. These products can often be applied directly to the stye and help to numb the pain, combat the infection, and encourage healing of the stye site.
In some cases, a prescription medication may need to be provided by a doctor like antibiotics for stye infection. Such type of medication usually includes several types of antibiotic ointment. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to drain or remove the stye. Although rare, it is vital to seek medical treatment from a doctor if the stye is getting worse or not healing after a week.
It is advisable one keep good hygiene. Styes are usually caused by a bacteria that is commonly found on the skin. lt can often be spread to the eye on the hands so washing of hands is extremely important. Ensure to wash hands before and after touching the eye to minimize the transfer of bacteria. These general hygiene practices are not just limited to hand washing though. Make sure to wash the face with a non-irritating facial wash or scrub.
There are many eye stye treatment products available that are recommended for soothing the eye, cleansingthe eyelids, and disinfectingthe stye. Manyof these products can be bought over-the-counter and most are fairly inexpensive. Products such as stye ointments or drops are great at providing pain relief due to the stye and also have an antibacterial function. Eyelid scrubs and cleansers are perfect for cleaning around the eye. As always, check the product label for instructions on how to use these products most effectively.
Sometimes, the stye just won’t go away or actually starts to get worse. This could be an indication of a worse infection that needs the attention of a doctor. The doctor will most likely prescribe an antibiotic drop or ointment to combat the infection. In serious cases, the stye may need to be lanced by an ophthalmologist or even surgically removed.
If the sebaceous glands are infected, we may suffer from some problems, like eye stye. pimple-alike symptoms will appear on the infected eye area. However, they should be cautiously treated and it is a good idea to ask a doctor for help because this problem is caused by bacteria in most cases. If we penetrate stye, our eyes might be infected, too.
Another remedy to ease swelling is a poultice made from grated potato. Place this on the eye and relax for several minutes. One can also soothe itchy and inflamed eyes with another pantry item. Boil whole coriander seeds in one cup of water to make an eye rinse that one can use 3 to 4 times per day.
There are some natural remedies for eye irritation such as:
- Avoiding swimming in chlorinated water to avoid irritation.
- Herbal eyewashes are very effective so make herbal eyewash by using l teaspoon dried eyebright herb which is steeped in 1 pint of boiling water. Allow it to cool and then strain this liquid. Now this solution is ready to use as an eyewash.
- Honey is very effective for the treatment of eye irritation. One can use honey directly into the eyes or make honey eyewash for the treatment of eye irritation. Take 3 tablespoon of honey in two cups of boiling water. Allow it to cool and then use it as eyewash.
- One can also make an elderberry blossom tea to use it as an eye wash. It soothes the eyes.
Most of the parents struggle to find and choose the best baby shampoos for their precious little one. Many parents prefer to use organic shampoo as it includes no harmful chemicals. Most of the shampoos for babies are clinically tested and prove to have no side-effects of any kind. But mothers prefer to have the perfect shampoo for their little ones to cleanse their hair. lt is necessary to choose it that cleanse the hair, leaving it soft and shiny. Most of its even have a mild fragrance and are quite safe for babies.
Different Types of Shampoos for Babies
Before selecting from among the best baby shampoos, it is necessary to read the ingredients present in the shampoo. Some shampoos may contain harmful chemicals which can affect the health of the baby. Various chemicals are also used to add fragrance to the shampoos. It is important to avoid such shampoos as it may cause adverse health effects on the baby.
Some of the best baby shampoos include non-toxic baby shampoos, herbal shampoos, herbal anti-dandruff shampoos, tearless shampoos, non-sticky shampoos, shampoos with aloe vera, and shampoos for cradle cap, eczema, dandruff and so forth which can be bought from many of the online stores at reasonable price rates. Learn more about them below.
Natural product: While choosing among the best baby shampoos, it is necessary to choose a natural product. Although there are many shampoos that claim to be natural and gentle, most of them include a variety of chemicals which can be harmful to babies.
Organic shampoos: Though there are many products which are suitable for babies, most of the parents prefer to use it for their little ones. This will also ensure that babies are not exposed to any type of harmful chemicals in the long run. There are many organic products available in the online markets at attractive price rates. Moreover, it is quite easy to purchase it from online sources.
Read labels: Before selecting from among the best baby shampoos, it is necessary to read the ingredients present in the shampoo. Some shampoos may contain harmful chemicals which can affect the health of the little baby. Various chemicals are also used to add fragrance to the shampoos. It is important to avoid such shampoos as it may cause adverse health effects on the baby.
Hypoallergenic shampoos: The best baby shampoos include hypoallergenic products which prove to be the best products available in the market. lt is very important to choose the gentlest shampoos available in the markets.
Avoid dyes and chemicals: Some of the shampoos include dyes and chemicals which give color and fragrance to the hair. Though these shampoos are effective and can be used by adults, it can cause allergic reactions in babies, infants, and toddlers. Thus, it is best to avoid such products.
Vitamin enhanced products: Today there are a number of baby shampoos which are enriched with vitamins. lt is proven to be beneficial for healthy hair and scalp.
There are many forms of eye stye treatment that can be accomplished right in the home. These treatments should be done as soon as possible since they can often prevent the stye from forming completely.
One can use a warm compress directly on the stye. The easiest way to do this is to get a small washcloth or towel and run it under warm or hot water. One can also get the washcloth wet and put it in the microwave for a few seconds to get it hot. After the washcloth is warm, place it directly on the stye for 10 minutes.
The heat will cause the stye to open up naturally and also helps to soothe the area, freeing one from pain. This technique can be applied for about 10 minutes, 3-4 times a day until the stye starts to heal. The use of a warm compress as an eye stye treatment is not only easy to do but is also extremely effective.
lt is important to note that the stye is not a pimple and should not be popped. Also, there are a lot of bacteria in the stye and this can be easily transmitted to other parts of the body. It is also important to wash the hands thoroughly before and after touching the stye and the washcloth.
So the next time there is an eye stye, feel free to try using a warm compress as an initial line of eye stye treatment. As always, if the stye gets worse or isn’t getting better after a few days, get it examined by a doctor.