Inflammation of the Eye Lash or Meibomian Gland

About Eye Infections   Eyelid inflammation   Conjunctivitis  

The surface of the eye is protected by several layers of liquids that keep it moist. First, there is the tear gland which secrets tear fluid to create a tear film across the surface of the eye. Second, meibomian glands produce an oily liquid called meibum which lies thinly on top of the tear film to keep the tear film from evaporating. If a meibomiam gland or an eyelash becomes infected an eye stye results. Styes are red or orange lumps rather like a pimple. They can be painful, but are not contagious.

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Self Help

Certain herbs and nutrients such as Burdock, Forsythia, Goldenseal and Echinacea may help heal sties.

Use of a plain, warm compress is helpful (you can also use a chamomile infusion as a compress as well to help reduce inflammation). If you treat immediately after first noticing a stye it will usually clear up quickly, typically within several days.

Under no circumstances should a stye be squeezed. The eyelid is the thinnest skin on the body and is easily damaged.

  • Unlike chalazia, sties usually clear up within a week or so.
  • Do not squeeze sties. Your eyelid tissue is very delicate and can be damaged. In addition you can worsen the condition of the stye.
  • Warm compresses can soothe the discomfort. With closed eyes, apply compresses 4-6 times daily until the compress cools.
  • You can very gently wash the eyelid with a mild soap such as baby shampoo or water. This may allow the stye to drain. Keep your eyes closed when wiping to clean your lids.
  • Don't use eye makeup or eye lotions. If you get sties frequently, your eye makeup may be contaminated and should be discarded.
  • Don't wear contact lenses to prevent any infection from spreading to the cornea.
  • There is often a relationship between a patient's diet and digestive system and diseases of the eyelid. From a Chinese medical perspective, issues with the upper lid often correlate to a Spleen meridian imbalance and the lower lid correlates to a Stomach meridian imbalance. Poor digestion and improper diet (such a diet that includes daily excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates, fried foods, sodas, etc.) can often cause problems such as sties. Reduce your intake of saturated fat and avoid hydrogenated oils and fried foods. see our recommendations for prevention for detailed information.

Beyond Self Help

Many doctors prescribe antibiotic drops or an ointment to control the infection. Sties rarely require excision.

About Eye Infections   Eyelid inflammation   Conjunctivitis