Stye in the eye
Stye in The Eye

Stye in The Eye: 2 Types, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Causes, Diagnosis, and Prevention

A stye in the eye or hordeolum is a condition when pimple-like rash or ulcers grow on the edges of the eyelids. They are commonly caused by a bacterial infection and usually only appears on one of the eyelids.

They often occur on the outer eyelid, but sometimes it can also appear on the inside of the eyelid. The nodule that grows on the inside is more painful than the one that grows on the outside. Unlike it seems, it does not cause visual impairment.


There are two types of hordeolum or stye, which appear outside the eyelids (external) and inside the eyelids (internal). In certain cases, the stye can sometimes also contain pus.

External hordeolum

External hordeolum is usually more common than what occurs inside the eyelids (internally). External hordeolum occurs due to an infection in the Zeis or Moll glands of the eye.

The Zeis gland and Moll gland are at the base of the eyelashes, both upper and lower. That’s why, external hordeolum can cause a stye in the upper or lower eyelids. The lump will be visible towards the outer side.

Internal hordeolum

The internal hordeolum is a stye that occurs inside the eyelids. Most internal hordeolum appears in the oil glands in the tissues of your eyelids (meibom gland). The internal hordeolum will usually appear on the upper eyelid.

The lump leads to the inner side so the eyelid needs to be opened to be able to see the lump more clearly. As it grows, the condition presses the eyes so it feels sicker than the external type.

Stye in The Eye Symptoms

The main symptom of a stye is the growth of red rash similar to small ulcers on the eyelids, either inside or outside the eyelids. Other symptoms that accompany this condition include:

  • Red eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Swollen eyelids and pain.

Risk Factors

Because a stye is caused by staphylococcal bacteria, hand hygiene must be maintained. A person’s risk of getting a stye can increase if dirty hands often touch the face especially the eyes. In addition, irritation or infection of the eyes due to dust or dirt can also increase the risk of getting stye. Contact lens users should keep their hands and contact lenses clean because a stye-causing bacteria can develop on dirty lenses.

Stye in The Eye Causes

Staphylococcal bacteria are the main cause of a stye. These bacteria live on human skin without causing disease. Touching the stye with dirty hands increases the risk of the stye. For example, bacteria can cause a stye. This is because infections can occur in the roots of eyelashes, sweat glands, and also oil glands.

Therefore, to reduce the risk of styes, then avoid touching the eyes with dirty hands. Inflammation of the eyelids or blepharitis can also trigger the risk of the appearance of a stye. Especially if you have blepharitis for a long time. The cause is complications due to rosacea skin disease as well as bacterial infections.


Diagnosis of a stye can be established by the doctor simply by performing a physical examination of the patient’s eye. No supporting examination is required for this matter.

How to prevent stye in the eye

In addition to applying how to treat the stye, prevention needs to be considered so as not to experience it in the future.

Some ways to lower the risk of getting stye include:

  • Keep your face clean and get used to washing your hands before touching your face so that the hordeolum doesn’t repeat easily.
  • Gently wipe the eyelids using a warm wash to clean the excretion of the fatty glands.
  • Keep eye make-up equipment clean so that it is not contaminated by germs.
  • Wear protective goggles when traveling in dusty areas.
  • Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes.
  • Take medication to relieve itching due to hay fever
  • Treat blepharitis, rosacea, and seborrheic dermatitis.
  • Keep contact clean and disinfected.
  • Wash your hands before touching contact.
  • Do not reuse disposable contact lens.
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water, or use an alco**hol-containing hand sanitizer.

Some of the precautions that should be taken when you experience a stye include:

  • Wash your hands as often as possible.
  • Avoid wearing mascara or eyeliner.
  • Remove all the old makeup.
  • Do not wear contact lenses.

Freckles are not contagious, but the bacteria can be transmitted through infected makeup. Don’t let others use your makeup, especially mascara and eyeliner.

Last Updated on April 13, 2021 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team

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