Symptoms of a stye on your eye: Sty – Symptoms and causes


Sty/Stye (Hordeolum): Symptoms, Causes, Treatments


A sty is a red, painful bump that forms either on or inside the eyelid near the edge of the eyelashes.

What is a sty?

A sty (sometimes spelled “stye”) is a red, painful bump that forms either on or inside the eyelid near the edge of the eyelashes. A sty that appears on the outside of the upper or lower eyelid, the more usual location, is called an external sty. A sty that appears on the inside of the upper or lower eyelid is called an internal sty. A sty can look like an acne pimple.

The medical term for a sty is a hordeolum.

A sty is similar to another bump that occurs in the eyelid called a chalazion. A chalazion is a bump that usually occurs farther back on the eyelid. Unlike a sty, a chalazion is usually not painful and is not caused by a bacterial infection. Instead, a chalazion occurs when the opening of the oil-producing glands in the eyelid becomes clogged. Treatment for both conditions, however, is similar.

Symptoms and Causes

What causes a sty?

A sty is caused by a bacterial infection in the oil-producing glands in the eyelid. Oil-producing glands line the eyelids and help lubricate the surface of the eye.

What are the signs and symptoms of a sty?

Signs and symptoms of a sty include:

  • Painful red bump along the edge of the upper or lower eyelid near the base of the eyelashes
  • Swelling of the eyelid (sometimes the entire eyelid)
  • Crusting along the eyelid
  • Sensitivity to bright light
  • Sore, scratchy eye
  • Tearing of the eye
  • A feeling that there is something in the eye

Diagnosis and Tests

How is a sty diagnosed?

A sty is usually diagnosed by a visual exam of the eyelid.

What are the risk factors for developing a sty?

Styes are very common. Anyone can get a sty. However, you may be more likely to get a sty if you:

  • Have had a sty before
  • Have blepharitis (an inflammation of the eyelids)
  • Have certain skin conditions, such as acne rosacea or seborrheic dermatitits
  • Have diabetes
  • Have dry skin
  • Are experiencing hormonal changes
  • Have high lipid levels (“bad” cholesterol)

Management and Treatment

What are the treatments for a sty?

A sty usually will disappear on its own in a few days. However, to reduce the pain and swelling, a sty can be treated at home with self care. Treat as follows:

  • Apply a warm washcloth to the eyelid. Apply for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, 3 to 5 times a day. Rewarm washcloth as needed by soaking it in warm water. Wring out excess water, then reapply to the eyelid.
  • Gently wipe away eyelid drainage with mild soap such as Johnson’s baby shampoo and water, or eyelid wipes (available in drug stores).

Also follow these tips:

  • Do not squeeze or pop a sty.
  • Do not rub or touch your eyelid.
  • Do not wear makeup or contact lenses until the area has fully healed.

A sty that does not improve within 48 hours of self care may require medical treatment by a doctor. Treatments given by doctors include:

  • In-office incision (under local anesthesia) to drain the sty
  • Antibiotic ointment to apply to the eyelid or antibiotic eye drops. Sometimes antibiotic pills are prescribed if there is infection of the area surrounding the eye or after incision and drainage of an internal sty.
  • Steroid injection into the sty to reduce the swelling in the eyelid


Can styes be prevented?

The best way to prevent a sty is by practicing good hygiene around your face and eyes, including:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often and especially before touching your face and eyes.
  • Wash your hands before and after removing contact lenses. Clean contacts with disinfectant and lens cleaning solution. Discard daily wear or other “limited use” lenses on the schedule recommended by your eye doctor.
  • Wash your face to remove dirt and/or makeup before going to bed.
  • Throw away all old or expired makeup. Replace mascara and eye shadow every 2 to 3 months. Never share or use another person’s makeup.

Living With

When should I see my eye doctor about a sty?

See your eye doctor if:

  • Your eye is swollen shut due to the swelling in the eyelid
  • Pus or blood is leaking from the bump
  • Pain and/or swelling increases after the first 2 to 3 days
  • Blisters have formed on your eyelid
  • Your eyelid feels hot
  • Your vision has changed
  • Styes keep recurring. If this happens, a biopsy (a small piece of the sty) may need to be taken to rule out other more serious problems.

What Is a Stye, and What Causes Styes?

HomeWhat Is a Stye, and What Causes Styes?

By Liz Segre; reviewed by Vance Thompson, MD

What Is a Stye?

A stye is an infection in the eyelid that causes a tender, red bump near the edge of the lid. A stye (also called a sty or hordeolum) is caused by bacteria and can occur at the base of an eyelash (external stye / hordeolum) or within one of the small oil glands within the eyelid (internal stye).

When oil glands or hair follicles get clogged by makeup, dead skin or dirt, bacteria can get trapped inside and cause an infection. This infected gland is called a stye. 

Types of Styes

  1. External stye: A stye at the base of an eyelash.

  2. Internal stye: A stye within one of the small oil glands within the eyelid.

While styes are the result of a blocked oil gland, you may have bumps on your eyelid for other reasons, such as milia, chalazia, a scratch or, in rare cases, cancer. 

What Causes a Stye?

A stye is caused by staphylococcal bacteria. This bacterium is found in the nose and is transferred easily to the eye when you rub your nose, then your eye.

Bacteria can cause inflammation or infection of the eyelash follicles — oil glands that drain through ducts into the eyelashes. When the duct is clogged, oil can’t drain and backs up into the gland. The gland becomes swollen and inflamed, causing the stye. The most common causes of styes are:

  • Touching or rubbing your eye 

  • Inflammation of your eyelid due to blepharitis

  • Using contaminated eye makeup

  • Not cleaning your eyelids or not removing makeup

  • Having had styes in the past

  • Medical conditions such as:

SEE RELATED: Eye stye causes, risk factors and prevention

Stye Symptoms and Signs

Symptoms of a stye include:

After symptoms appear, a small, often painful pimple-like bump will develop in the affected area. Usually this is accompanied by swollen eyes. Sometimes just the immediate area is swollen; at other times, the entire eyelid swells. If you experience pain in your eye rather than just your eyelid, see your doctor. 

Where Can You Get a Stye?

Styes can occur in several places on your eyelid:

  • Stye on upper eyelid

  • Stye on lower eyelid

  • Stye inside an eyelid

  • Stye under an eyelid

For internal styes, it’s probably best to see your doctor. External styes can be treated at home, but if they persist for longer than a week, you may want to seek medical attention. 

8 Things to Know About Styes

1. Do Styes Cause Vision Problems?

Your ability to see well at either near or distance shouldn’t be affected by a stye. If a stye is affecting your vision, see your eye doctor. 

2. Are Styes Contagious?

In most cases, styes aren’t contagious, though it’s possible to transmit the bacteria from person to person. This would require the person with a stye to touch their eye and then directly transfer the bacteria to the eye of someone else.

3. How Long Do Styes Last?

Most styes last 3 to 7 days but can persist as long as a week or two. You can speed up the healing process by applying warm compresses for 10 to 15 minutes, three or four times a day, over the course of several days. 

This will relieve the pain and bring the stye to a head, much like a pimple. In most cases, the stye will then open, drain and heal without further intervention.

Though most styes will go away with basic home remedies, like warm compresses, some need to be treated medically or drained surgically.

4. Can You Pop a Stye?

Just as you should not pop a pimple, the same is true for an eye stye. You should never pop a stye, but instead allow it to open on its own.

A stye that forms inside the eyelid (called an internal hordeolum) might not rupture and heal on its own. Because this type of stye can be more serious, your eye doctor may need to open and drain it.

If you have frequent styes, your eye doctor may want to prescribe an antibiotic ointment. He or she also might recommend using pre-moistened eyelid cleaning pads for daily lid hygiene to reduce the risk of styes and blepharitis.

5. What Other Eye Issues Can Accompany Styes?

With a stye, you may notice frequent watering in the affected eye, increased light sensitivity and a feeling like something is “in” your eye (this symptom is called a “foreign body sensation”).

6. Are Eye Styes Caused by Stress?

There is no direct evidence that stress causes styes. However, because styes are an infection, anything that compromises your immune system, such as stress or lack of sleep, might make you more prone to them. In addition, lack of sleep often leads to rubbing your eyes more frequently, which can be a risk factor.

7. Why Do I Keep Getting Styes?

If you keep getting styes, it is likely that you have not addressed the risk factors that are causing them, such as poor eyelid cleaning habits, irritated or itchy eyes, rubbing your eyes or not cleaning your contact lenses on the recommended schedule.  

8. How Is a Stye Diagnosed?

Your doctor can usually diagnose a stye on sight, and no other tests are needed. 

How Do You Treat a Stye?

There are several things you can do to treat a stye at home:

  • Clean your eyelids

  • Wash your hands often

  • Use an eyelid cleansing pad

  • Stop wearing eye makeup temporarily

  • Wear your glasses instead of contacts

  • Apply warm compresses or a warm washcloth

  • Use antibiotic creams

  • Gentle massage

For more detailed information, see our article on how to get rid of a stye.

How to Prevent Styes

  • Don’t touch or rub your eyes

  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer

  • Treat issues that cause itchy eyes, such as allergies

  • Deal with underlying conditions like rosacea, dermatitis or blepharitis

  • Use and clean contact lenses according to instructions

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water, or use a hand sanitizer that contains alcohol

  • Avoid wearing eye makeup, and don’t use old makeup

  • Wear glasses instead of contacts when you can

Should I See an Eye Doctor for a Stye?

Although most styes clear up fairly quickly, don’t hesitate to contact your eye doctor for additional advice. Your doctor might prescribe an ointment or a prescription stye medicine to help it heal faster.

Call your doctor if:

  • The stye doesn’t start getting better after a few days

  • The stye keeps getting larger

  • The swelling keeps increasing

  • Your vision is affected

More Stye Articles:

Page published in March 2019

Page updated in July 2021

Hordeolum (Stye) | Johns Hopkins Medicine

What is a stye?

A stye (hordeolum) is a tender red bump on the edge of your eyelid.

What causes a stye?

A stye happens when a gland on the edge of your eyelid gets infected. When it occurs inside or under the eyelid, it is called an internal hordeolum.

The infection is most often caused by a bacteria or germ called staph (Staphylococcus aureus).

Who is at risk for a stye?

You are more likely to get a stye if you:

  • Have had one before
  • Wear contact lenses
  • Are not keeping your eye area clean
  • Use eye makeup that is old or contaminated
  • Have other eye conditions such as an inflamed or infected eyelid (blepharitis)
  • Have other conditions such as rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, or diabetes

What are the symptoms of a stye?

Each person’s symptoms may vary. Symptoms may include:

  • Swelling, redness, pain, or tenderness of the eyelid
  • Feeling like there is something in your eye
  • Being bothered by bright light
  • Tearing and crusting of the eye

The symptoms of a stye may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider to be sure.

How is a stye diagnosed?

In most cases your healthcare provider will be able to tell that you have a stye by looking at it.

You will not need to take any tests.

How is a stye treated?

In most cases a stye will go away on its own.

There are some things you can do to treat the stye at home. These include:

  • Putting a warm, wet cloth (compress) on your eyelid for 5 to 10 minutes. This should be done 3 to 5 times a day.
  • Washing your hands often
  • Washing your face daily, including the eye area
  • Not touching the area
  • Not squeezing the stye
  • Not wearing makeup until the infection heals

Your healthcare provider may also:

  • Give you special bacteria-fighting (antibiotic) creams or ointments to put on the area. Only certain ones are safe to use near your eyes.
  • Refer you to an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) if the stye does not go away.

What can I do to prevent a stye?

To prevent a stye, you should:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Wash your face and eye area
  • Be careful when using and removing eye makeup

When should I call my healthcare provider?

Call your healthcare provider if you:

  • Notice redness or swelling of your eyelid
  • Have pain in your eyelid
  • Feel like something is in your eye

Key points about styes

  • A stye (hordeolum) is a tender red bump on the edge of the eyelid.
  • It is an infection of a gland of the eyelid.
  • The infection is most often caused by bacteria called staph (Staphylococcus aureus).
  • The most common symptoms are redness and swelling of the eyelid.
  • In most cases a stye will go away on its own.

Next steps

Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:

Know the reason for your visit and what you want to happen.

  • Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
  • Bring someone with you to help you ask questions and remember what your provider tells you.
  • At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you.
  • Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed, and how it will help you. Also know what the side effects are.
  • Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways.
  • Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
  • Know what to expect if you do not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
  • If you have a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
  • Know how you can contact your provider if you have questions.

Styes – Better Health Channel

A stye is a sore and red lump near the edge of an eyelid. It is caused by an infection at the base of an eyelash (in the follicle). Staphylococcal bacteria are the usual culprits. These bacteria normally live harmlessly on the skin, but they can cause infection if the skin is damaged. Touching mucus from the nose and then rubbing the eye is one way of moving staphylococcal bacteria to the eyelid.

Styes may be red and sore, but they generally do not cause any damage to the eye or eyelids. Most clear up within a few days, even if no treatment is received. However, the infection from one stye can sometimes spread and cause more styes. Rarely, the entire eyelid may become infected. This requires medical treatment, including antibiotics. Some people seem to get many styes, while others get few or none at all.


The way a stye develops includes:

  • A painful, red and tender lump develops on the eyelid.
  • The lump gets larger and may develop a white or yellow top. This means there is pus in the stye, and is called ‘pointing’. The point can be along the edge of the eyelid (where eyelashes grow), or it can be inside the eyelid. It is not usual for it to be on the outside of the eyelid.
  • The stye can irritate the eye, causing it to water, and it can feel like there is something ‘in the eye’ (like when an eyelash gets onto the surface of the eye).
  • The surface over the stye may break, releasing the pus, or the swelling may go away without bursting, when the body’s immune system is able to control the infection.
  • If the pus drains out of the stye, the lump goes away quite quickly. Otherwise, the swelling may take longer to go down.

Treatment options

Styes can be painful and very irritating. Hot ‘compresses’ can help relieve the pain and may also help to get rid of the infection. For many centuries, it has been believed that hot compresses ‘draw out infections’. A hot compress is a piece of material (such as cotton balls), which is heated in hot water. It needs to be as hot as the person can manage comfortably, without being so hot as to burn the skin. It is probably best that the person with the stye manages this, to keep the risk of a burn low. The hot, wet material is placed on the eyelid for several minutes, until it cools, then it is replaced with another compress. This is done several times a day. Paracetamol will also help relieve the pain of a stye.

Sometimes, antibiotic ointments may be needed and, occasionally, the person will need oral antibiotics (taken by mouth). In some cases, a stye will need to be opened up (lanced) by a doctor, if the stye does not get better by itself. If the lump is still painful and hot after a few days, get your doctor to check your eye.

Warning – do not squeeze a stye

Do not try to squeeze the pus out of a stye. If the stye is not ready to burst, the infected pus may be squeezed into the tissue next to the stye, causing the infection to spread further.

Preventing spread of infection

Suggestions to prevent the spread of infection include:

  • Don’t touch, rub or squeeze the stye.
  • Dispose of a used ‘compress’ in a rubbish bin, so that others do not have to handle it.
  • Wash your hands frequently.

Blocked sebaceous gland

Skin is lubricated and waterproofed by a greasy substance called sebum, which is made by sebaceous glands. If a blocked sebaceous gland is in the eyelid, it may look similar to a stye (when it swells with sebum), but it is not painful or red. Blocked sebaceous glands will often go without any treatment, but they may need to be cut out if the lump is irritating the eye.

Where to get help

  • Your doctor
  • Ophthalmologist (eye specialist)
  • Optometrist.

Things to remember

  • A stye is an infection at the base of an eyelash (in the follicle), usually caused by staphylococcal bacteria.
  • Don’t rub or squeeze the stye, as this can cause the infection to spread.
  • Treatment options include hot compresses, antibiotic ointments, oral antibiotics or operating on the lump (lancing) to drain out the pus.

Eye Styes (Causes, Symptoms & 5 Ways to Get Rid of Them)

What Are Eye Styes?

An eye stye, also called a hordeolum or sty, is a common eye condition that causes a painful, red bump on the inside or outside of the eyelid. It is typically filled with pus and resembles a small boil or pimple. Styes can develop on either the lower or upper eyelids and usually form due to a staph infection. They can also result in general eyelid inflammation and swelling. 

Two types of styes can form on the eye, including:

  • An external stye forms on the base of your eyelash.
  • An internal stye forms within a small oil gland inside your eyelid and is commonly caused by a meibomian gland infection. These glands make up part of the film covering your eye.

Styes vs.


A chalazion, which is a chronic bump (inflammation) on the eyelid, is commonly mistaken for a stye. Although similar in appearance, a chalazion is not the same as a stye. It is noticeably larger and located on the inside of the eyelid itself. Styes usually form closer to the edge of the eyelid, whereas a chalazia usually forms further back on the eyelid.

Certain oral antibiotics (taken by mouth), warm compresses, and steroid eye drops can help reduce the swelling associated with chalazia. If the chalazion reduces your vision quality or becomes very large, it must be surgically removed. Eye styes usually resolve on their own within a week or less with minor treatment. 

Causes of Eye Styes

There are a few potential causes of an eye stye, depending on where it has formed (internal or external stye). For example, the most common causes of a hordeolum include:

  • A bacterial infection that causes an infection of the eyelid. Staphylococcal bacteria cause 90 to 95 percent of hordeolum cases. This is also known as a staph infection, which are germs found on your skin and in your nose. Staph bacteria can spread from person-to-person by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose, mouth, or face.
  • Stress and hormonal changes can lead to the development of a stye.
  • Skin cancer can cause styes or a chalazion, though this is relatively rare. 
  • Some people are more prone to styes than others, especially if they struggle with specific medical or skin conditions. These include acne rosacea, conjunctivitis (pink eye), or blepharitis, which is an oily eyelid condition.
  • Using old makeup is another cause of styes. If you do not wash your makeup brushes or completely remove your eye makeup before bed, a stye(s) can form. It is important to replace makeup products and brushes often to prevent the spread of bacteria. Also, never share makeup with someone else. 

Eye Stye Symptoms

The most obvious sign of a stye is a noticeable red swelling on or inside the eyelid. Other symptoms include:

  • A burning sensation
  • Frequent watering of the affected eye
  • Increased light sensitivity
  • A gritty feeling of having something in your eye (foreign body sensation)
  • Pain and discomfort near the affected area
  • Generalized swelling of the upper or lower eyelid
  • Crustiness near the eyelid (eye discharge)
  • Tenderness when you touch the stye
  • Ptosis (drooping of the upper eyelid)
  • In rare cases, the stye may hurt when blinking

How to Get Rid of Eye Stye

Most styes form on the edge of the eyelid and tend to resolve on their own within four to five days. Most styes rupture naturally before the healing process begins, which is normal. If your child has a stye, make sure they do not rub their face or pull on eyelashes. Doing so can spread bacteria, leading to the development of more styes. 

While most styes resolve on their own with minimal treatment, some larger or more painful infections may require treatment. Conventional treatment of styes include, but are not limited to:

  • Warm compresses or washcloths can be applied for 10 minutes, three to four times a day, to reduce stye swelling and speed up the recovery process. 
  • Antibiotic ointments and eye drops are used to attack the staph infection and reduce inflammation. If it doesn’t respond to this treatment, the infection may not be a stye. It could be a chalazion or more severe condition. Talk with your eye doctor if this occurs. If the infection is a stye, it should resolve within a week. 
  • Do not squeeze the stye or rub your eye because the bacteria can spread. 
  • Vitamin C and garlic supplements may also be recommended to boost your immune system and help fight off the infection.  
  • If you wear contact lenses, only wear your glasses until the stye heals. 

Over-the-counter painkillers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, do not speed up the stye healing process.

Potential Risk Factors

Although eye stye complications are rare, they can happen. Styes that form inside the eyelid may not rupture on their own, which can be serious. If this occurs, surgery to remove the stye may be necessary. 

How Do I Prevent Styes?

There are a few steps you can take to prevent eye styes, especially if you often get them. Five stye prevention tips include:

  • Always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with mild soap and water before touching your eyes and face.
  • If you have oily eyelids, dip a Q-tip in a mild soap or baby shampoo and warm water. Then gently clean your upper and lower eyelids. 
  • There are also OTC eyelid cleansers (lid scrubs) available for oily eyelids and blepharitis maintenance, which can help prevent styes.
  • Before going to sleep, always remove makeup and wash your face to remove dirt, dead skin, oil, and bacteria. 
  • Do not share makeup, bed linens, pillows, body towels, or face towels with others.
  • Children often get styes because they are more likely to touch their faces and neglect hand washing. Urge your children to wash their hands frequently, whenever possible. 

Eye Stye FAQs

Are Styes Stress Related?

Stress can cause eye styes to form, but this is not the most common cause. Hormonal changes can also lead to the development of a sty.

Are Styes Contagious?

Staph bacteria, the most common cause of eye styes, are contagious. They can spread from touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes or face. If you live in a small area with a lot of people (such as a dorm), it is even more important to wash your hands often and not share towels or bed linens. 

Why Do I Keep Getting Eye Styes? 

People who get recurring eye styes often have very oily eyelids. Blepharitis, which is a condition that causes oily eyelids that easily become infected, can also cause recurring styes. 

Can I Pop The Stye?

You should never pop an eye sty. This is because the stye will usually rupture on its own during the healing process. However, if the stye does not rupture (this is common for internal styes), an eye doctor may need to surgically open it and then drain it. Styes that form inside your eyelid are often more severe than external styes, so you should never try to open them yourself.  

Stye – MyDr.com.au

A stye is a small, pimple-like swelling or lump on the eyelid, usually near the eyelashes. A stye usually only affects one eye, and often goes away by itself without treatment.

Styes are caused by bacteria and are a type of abscess. The medical term for a stye is a hordeolum. If you have a stye on the outer edge of your eyelid, it is called an external hordeolum, and if the stye is inside your eyelid, it is called an internal hordeolum.

Symptoms of a stye

The symptoms of a style include:

  • the appearance of a small, red lump on the edge of eyelid, which may fill with pus like a pimple
  • tenderness or pain of the affected part of the eyelid
  • itchiness or irritation (like there is something in your eye)
  • sensitivity to light
  • a watering eye.

Your vision is not usually affected if you have a stye.

If you have a stye on the inside of your eyelid (which is much less common than an external stye), the eyelid can become very inflamed and sore. If the condition becomes severe, it is possible to develop fever or chills.

What to do if you think you have a stye

If you think you may have a stye, there is probably no need to see a doctor straight away. Often it will start to get better on its own after a few days, and within a few weeks it is likely to be completely gone. There are some simple things you can do to help during this time.

While the stye is healing, it’s best not to wear makeup or contact lenses. It’s also important that you don’t try to squeeze or pop the stye like a pimple, as this can spread the bacterial infection.

See your doctor for advice if:

  • the stye isn’t getting better after a few days
  • the style is extremely painful
  • redness and swelling starts to spread from your eyelid to other parts of your face.

What causes a stye?

A stye is caused by a bacterial infection.

The type of bacteria that is usually responsible for styes is Staphylococcus. Normally, these bacteria live on your skin without causing problems. However, if they get into a gland near an eyelash, or into an eyelash follicle (a small hole in the skin where an eyelash grows out of), they can cause an infection. This can happen if the follicle becomes clogged with dirt or oil.

Who is at risk of getting a stye?

Anyone can get a stye. However, you may be more likely to develop one if you:

  • have had a stye before
  • touch your eyes with unclean hands
  • put your contact lenses in when your hands aren’t clean
  • don’t disinfect your contact lenses properly
  • use old or contaminated makeup, or tend to leave makeup on overnight.

You can also get a stye if you have another eye condition called blepharitis (which causes red and swollen eyelid rims) or a skin condition called rosacea (which causes spots and redness of the skin on the face).

Complications of a stye

Having a stye can lead to complications, although these are not common or likely to be serious.

  • If your stye is on the inside of your eyelid, this can cause a cyst called a chalazion to develop. These usually go away on their own, but they can become infected.
  • If the bacteria that caused the stye spread to the skin around your eye, this can cause a condition called preseptal cellulitis, which causes redness and swelling.

Both of these complications may be treated using antibiotics.

How is a stye diagnosed?

To make a diagnosis, your doctor will have a close look at the affected eye to look for the tell-tale symptoms of a stye.


Usually a stye doesn’t need any special treatment and will go away by itself within 3 weeks.

Keep your eyelid clean by washing it gently with mild soap and water. To encourage the stye to release some pus, and so relieve some pressure and pain, you can try applying a warm compress 3 or 4 times a day. Run warm water over a clean face washer or towel, then wring it out and hold it against your eyelid for 5 to 10 minutes, then very gently massage the area. If you are in pain, it may be helpful to take painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.

What your doctor can do for you

If you decide to see your doctor (if your eyelid becomes very sore, for example), he or she may decide to remove the eyelash nearest the stye, or use a sterile needle to pierce the stye and drain the pus away.

Antibiotics usually aren’t needed. However, the doctor may recommend other treatments if there are complications or other eye conditions involved, such as a chalazion or blepharitis.

If necessary, your doctor may refer you to an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) for further treatment.

How do you prevent a stye?

Because styes are caused by bacterial infection, preventing infection is the best way to avoid getting a stye. You can do this by:

  • washing your hands regularly, with soap and water or a hand sanitiser
  • keeping your hands away from your eyes
  • only using good quality makeup, keeping it clean, not keeping it too long and removing it before you go to bed
  • keeping your contact lenses properly disinfected.
  • It is also a good idea to seek treatment for any other conditions that can cause styes, including blepharitis and rosacea.

1. Stye. In: eTG complete March 2016 edition (accessed May 2016)
2. Merck Manuals. Chalazion and Hordeolum (Stye). http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec09/ch200/ch200e.html (accessed May 2016)
3. American Academy of Ophthalmology. Chalazia and Stye.
http://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-are-chalazia-styes (accessed May 2016)
4. NHS Choices. Stye. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stye/Pages/introduction.aspx (accessed May 2016)
5. Mayo Clinic. Sty. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sty/basics/definition/con-20022698

Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on May 13, 2021.

What are Styes And Chalazions?

A sty, also called hordeolum, is a small abscess of the oil gland associated with an eyelash hair follicle. It typically contains Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, the cause of staph infections. When a sty develops, a small area of the upper or lower eyelid or the corner of the eye becomes red, tender and swollen. Swelling subsides gradually over a period of days after the sty develops an opening, and the pus is able to drain out.

A chalazion, like a sty, is a swelling within the eyelid caused by inflammation of an oil gland. A chalazion differs from a sty in that it does not contain an active bacterial infection. A chalazion is sometimes the after effect of a sty. It is less tender but lasts longer.

Natural oils from the eyelid’s oil glands must drain through ducts out to the eyelashes. If debris blocks this normal drainage, it may cause a sty or chalazion. Sometimes, this debris accumulates because of a condition called blepharitis, a long-standing inflammation of the edges of the eyelids, with redness, thickening and scales and crusts.


A sty or chalazion begins as a tender red lump or bump within the eyelid at the base of the eyelash. It may cause tearing, light sensitivity and the sensation of having something in the eye. Swelling usually involves only a small area of the lid, but in some cases it can lead to irritation and redness of the whole eyelid.

A small, yellowish spot eventually appears in the center of a sty, when the pus collection expands to become visible just beneath the skin or eyelid surface. Pain usually is relieved when the sty ruptures, draining the pus through an opening in the skin, the lid margin or the undersurface of the lid.

A chalazion at first may be red and swollen for a few days, but eventually it changes to a painless, slowly growing, round mass in the lid. The skin around this firm rubbery lump can be moved loosely over the swelling.


You or your doctor can diagnose a sty or chalazion by looking at it. Both styes and chalazions usually go away on their own without medical attention.

Expected Duration

A sty usually goes away in a week or two. Chalazions generally take longer, disappearing after a month or more. Warm compresses can help both styes and chalazions go away sooner.


Good hygiene is the best way to prevent styes and chalazions. Keep your hands clean, don’t rub your eyes, and don’t share eye makeup. This is particularly important for people who have had styes or chalazions more than once.


Warm compresses can help styes and chalazions heal faster. Moisten a clean, folded washcloth with warm water and hold it gently against the eye for 5 minutes several times a day for several days. The moist washcloth can be heated in a microwave over. This will encourage a sty or chalazion to open a drainage channel, allowing any pus to drain away and restoring normal drainage from oil glands. Change the washcloth frequently, particularly as a sty drains.

Pus should never be removed by squeezing. A sty that fails to drain can be lanced (opened) by a doctor.

If you are prone to recurring styes, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. He or she may treat a chalazion with corticosteroid drops to control inflammation. If a chalazion does not go away on its own after six weeks, it may need to be removed surgically under local anesthesia.

When To Call a Professional

Seek medical attention if a lump or bump on the eyelid impairs vision, or if it does not go away on its own after several days of treatment with warm compresses. Very rarely, a tumor of the eyelid can look like a chalazion. If redness spreads to the entire lid, you should arrange for prompt examination by a doctor.


Seek medical attention if a lump or bump on the eyelid impairs vision, or if it does not go away on its own after several days of treatment with warm compresses. Very rarely, a tumor of the eyelid can look like a chalazion. If redness spreads to the entire lid, you should arrange for prompt examination by a doctor.

External resources

American Academy of Ophthalmology



Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Medical Disclaimer

90,000 Barley on the eye: symptoms, treatment, prevention

Barley – a disease of the eyelids, in which there is suppuration of the hair follicle of the eyelash, accompanied by swelling, pain and itching. Many people face this unpleasant ailment that spoils the appearance.

The causes of barley

Often, barley appears after a cold or hypothermia of the body (for example, in a strong cold wind), as well as due to non-observance of basic hygiene rules.It has been established that inflammation is caused by a bacterial infection – in most cases, Staphylococcus aureus, but the pathogenic demodex mite can also become the causative agent.

There are other reasons for the development of the disease. The repeated appearance of barley on the eye signals an insufficient functioning of the immune system. Often, inflammation in the eyes occurs after a serious illness: flu or sore throat. Such diseases as diabetes mellitus, furunculosis, chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract can also provoke barley.The inflammatory process of the hair follicle also occurs with vitamin deficiency. A sedentary lifestyle, smoking, constant presence in a dusty room also causes purulent formation in the eyelid.


The first symptom of barley is redness in the upper or lower eyelid, when pressed, soreness is felt. After a while, the inflamed area of ​​the eyelid swells and, if it is not treated, a “ball” of a characteristic yellow color is formed in this place.

Sometimes the disease is accompanied by headache, fever, inflammation of the lymph nodes. In some cases, barley causes complications that lead to serious health problems for the patient.


It is better to start the treatment of barley at the earliest stage: as soon as redness and itching appear, the affected area should be lubricated with special eye ointment or antibacterial drops up to 4-6 times a day. It is recommended to carefully treat the inflamed eyelid with calendula tincture, iodine or brilliant green solution (if iodine is tolerated).In case of ripening of barley, in no case should it be squeezed out or pierced in order to avoid the ingress of purulent contents into the surrounding tissues. During illness, women are better off not using cosmetics. A personal towel should be provided for the patient’s use. In winter, it is necessary to go out into the street in a headdress, to avoid getting the wind on your face.

If the general condition has worsened, there is a temperature and other complications, you should immediately consult an ophthalmologist.The specialist will prescribe medication, physiotherapy, and in severe cases, will perform surgery. It is not recommended to warm up your eyes on your own.

Disease prevention

  1. Leading a healthy lifestyle: you need to spend more time outdoors, play sports and hardening procedures, gradually get rid of bad habits. You should reduce the time spent at the computer, try to avoid stress. Adequate nutrition can also support the body and is essential for good health.
  2. Be sure to follow hygiene: do not touch or rub your eyes with unwashed hands, individually use high-quality decorative cosmetics and other personal hygiene products. Carry antibacterial wipes with you so that if a speck gets into your eye, you do not clean it with dirty hands.
  3. Avoid hypothermia and prolonged stay in dusty places.

All these tips will help restore and strengthen a weakened immune system with frequent relapse of the disease.

See also:

90,000 Barley on the eye: treatment, signs, causes of appearance

Acute purulent inflammation in the hair follicle of the eyelash or in the sebaceous gland is called “barley” because of its characteristic round shape, reminiscent of a grain. The external harmlessness of this phenomenon is deceptive: it clearly indicates a decrease in the protective properties of the immune system and requires careful treatment to prevent relapses and possible complications.

Causes of the appearance of barley on the eye

Staphylococci, which prefer to settle on the skin and hair of a person, do not manifest themselves in any way with strong immunity.Their intensive reproduction is triggered by a decrease in the protective properties of the body, its hypothermia, severe diseases and hypovitaminosis, the consequences of helminthic invasion. Penetrating into the structure of the hair follicle, streptococci cause inflammation and suppuration as a reaction to a pathogenic microorganism. This is the main cause of barley in the eye in patients of all ages. With an unbalanced diet, increased physical exertion or stressful situations, the disease can occur in the form of several or multiple suppurations on the eyelids or mucous membranes.Also among the factors contributing to the appearance of barley on the eye is the habit of touching the eyelids with dirty hands, a large amount of dust indoors or outdoors.

The risk group for the likelihood of the appearance of barley includes:

  • patients with reduced immunity;
  • persons with diseases of the endocrine system;
  • patients with gastrointestinal tract pathologies;
  • persons whose professional activity is related to work on the street or in rooms with difficult climatic or unsanitary conditions;
  • patients who have suffered from inflammatory diseases of the eyes and eyelids, as well as those who have not fully completed the prescribed course of treatment.

Symptoms of barley on the eye

Suppuration of the eyelid makes itself felt with a feeling of heaviness, swelling and inflammation along the eyelash growth line. The area becomes painful, and the temperature of the eyelid skin rises. The edema line has clear boundaries, signs of hyperemia – redness and inflammation are noticeable on the conjunctiva. Within 2-3 days from the moment of development of barley, a purulent head forms on its surface, the contents of which are the dead cells of the hair follicle.

With internal barley, the pathology is localized in the area under the eyelid – in the so-called meibomian gland, which makes the disease almost invisible. The inflammatory process is indicated by the characteristic symptoms of barley – compaction and soreness of the affected eyelid. The danger of such a disease is the development of chalazion – inflammation of the cartilage around the meibomian gland, which significantly delays the healing process and forces the patient to undergo regular examination by an ophthalmologist.

In severe cases, with barley localized inside the sebaceous gland, there are signs of general intoxication – headache and muscle pain, fever, swollen lymph nodes.Self-medication in this case is categorically contraindicated, and the patient should immediately seek medical help.

Do you have symptoms of barley?

Only a doctor can accurately diagnose the disease.
Do not delay the consultation – call by phone

+7 (495) 775-73-60

Types and stages of development of barley

Depending on localization and external signs, they are distinguished:

  • external stye is a painful formation on the lash line that quickly suppurates.Signs of barley in this case are visible to the naked eye, which simplifies the diagnosis;
  • internal barley – localized within the eyelid, causes inconvenience with severe pain and a feeling of a foreign object in the eye. It is found during a visual medical examination.

The formation and development of barley occurs in several stages:

  • infiltration process. The appearance of the first characteristic signs of suppuration is noted: itching, swelling, redness of the eyelid in the area of ​​inflammation.Within a few hours, the discomfort intensifies;
  • suppuration process. A capsule with purulent contents is visible on the surface of the formation. With an increase in the volume of pus or mechanical stress, it may break out prematurely;
  • the process of breaking through a purulent capsule. If the inflammation does not break out on its own, the surgeon will open it. The separation of purulent contents occurs within several days;
  • healing. A crust forms at the site of the ulcer, under which a thin layer of regenerated skin forms.Depending on the quality of the course of treatment and the state of the immune system, the healing time can range from several days to several weeks.

Complications of barley on the eye

The importance of going to the doctor when barley appears due to the high risk of developing the following complications:

  • conjunctivitis is an infectious lesion of the mucous membrane of the eye, causing swelling, hyperemia and some deterioration in vision.Treatment of the disease is complex and lengthy;
  • chalazion – formation of a cystic nature on the inside of the eyelid. Causes inconvenience, requires long-term treatment;
  • phlegmon of the orbit – caused by profuse suppuration due to an attempt to independently open barley or multiple formation of foci of suppuration with their subsequent fusion. Symptoms of this pathology are visual impairment, severe swelling, discomfort when moving the eyelid, etc.etc .;
  • thrombosis of the plexus of blood vessels is a violation of the outflow of fluid from the orbit, which causes swelling. The eyeball protrudes, the skin turns blue, the eyelids become inflamed, and vision deteriorates sharply;
  • thrombophlebitis is an inflammatory process in the blood vessels. It is characterized by headache, fatigue, decreased visual acuity, redness of the mucous membrane of the eye;
  • meningitis – the consequences of phlegmon of the eye. Signs of a deadly pathology: temperature above 39 ° C and severe headache;
  • sepsis – blood poisoning due to the ingress of pus and pathogenic microorganisms into it.Signs of complications: intoxication of the body, chills, heart palpitations, rash, breathing problems.

Diagnostics of barley

Making the correct diagnosis is possible already with an external examination of the patient and the analysis of his complaints. If the disease occurs relatively often, laboratory tests will be required to exclude or identify:

  • diabetes mellitus;
  • helminthic invasions;
  • HIV / AIDS or other diseases that cause a sharp decrease in immunity.

Barley treatment

With strong immunity, the disease can go away on its own without special treatment. This happens if the adverse effect on the body has ceased, and the activation of staphylococcus was suppressed.

Self-treatment of barley on the eye with medicines at home is not recommended. Moreover, folk recipes often pose a threat to vision. Tips on how to treat barley can rupture the purulent capsule and infect the mucous membrane of the eye with the most serious consequences.

A course prescribed by a specialist will be many times more effective and safer. Its components are antibacterial drugs, local antibiotic agents and compounds for relieving the inflammatory process. Barley treatment should be carried out under the supervision and on the basis of the recommendations of a specialist. If a complication develops, he will immediately adjust the course and take measures to prevent further inflammation.

Prevention of barley

To eliminate the risk of the appearance of barley will help:

  • compliance with the rules of personal hygiene;
  • measures to strengthen the body’s defenses and restore immunity;
  • exclusion of situations of overheating or hypothermia of the body;
  • timely treatment of serious infectious diseases;
  • active lifestyle;
  • balanced nutrition, taking vitamin courses.

Additional recommendations, taking into account the state of the patient’s body, will be given by the attending physician.

Questions and Answers

What causes barley in the eye?

The main cause of inflammation is infection of the sebaceous gland or hair follicle of the eyelash due to the active vital activity of staphylococci. This is facilitated by ambient air pollution, a decrease in the protective properties of the immune system, and non-compliance with the rules of personal hygiene.Less commonly, barley appears on the eye due to difficult conditions of professional activity or untreated infectious eye diseases.

How does barley appear?

The first signs of barley manifestation are eyelid discomfort, noticeable inflammation and swelling of the eyelash area, itching and a feeling of some heaviness. Within a few days, a yellow purulent head of the inflammation focus becomes noticeable on the surface of the skin.As it matures, it breaks through, after which a number of “inflammatory” symptoms of the disease go away, but a slight itching and a patch of redness remains.

How to quickly remove barley from the eye?

Any methods of treating barley should be necessarily agreed with an ophthalmologist. The sooner you seek help, the faster you will be able to cope with the pathology. Antibacterial agents and topical ointments will help speed up the breakthrough of the purulent capsule.Attempts to quickly remove barley from the eye with compresses, heating or squeezing out pus are very dangerous and can cause serious inflammation of the mucous membrane and damage to the eyeball.

Didn’t find the answer to your question?

Our experts are ready to advise you by phone:

90,000 Causes and symptoms of barley in the eye in adults and children

Barley on the eye is an inflammation of one of the many sebaceous glands of the eyelid, which occurs due to non-observance of hygiene rules or a decrease in local immunity.According to statistics, every third person at least once in his life suffered this disease, the causative agent of which is Staphylococcus aureus. When painful barley occurs inside the eyelid, it is difficult to resist the urge to squeeze out the contents of the pimple. However, getting rid of it yourself is categorically undesirable, because this can cause serious complications. During the period of illness, it is not recommended to touch the site of inflammation, you should immediately consult a doctor who will help you quickly and safely cope with the problem.

Causes of the appearance of barley on the eye

One of the main reasons for the appearance of barley on the eye in an adult is a bacterial infection – Staphylococcus aureus or Staphylococcus aureus. Normally, this bacterium lives on the skin and does not cause any harm to the body, but under the influence of a number of unfavorable factors, a suitable environment for its reproduction is created.

At the same time, there are accumulations of sebaceous and meibomian glands inside the eyelid. The latter produce the oily part of the tear, the purpose of which is to ensure the stability of the tear film and smooth gliding of the eyelids over the surface of the eye.Disruption of these glands can lead to their inflammation and the formation of a small purulent pimple.

A number of the most common factors provoking barley in the eyelid can also be identified:

  • weakening of the immune system;
  • diabetes mellitus;
  • worms;
  • diseases of the gastrointestinal tract;
  • 90,027 colds;

  • hypothermia;
  • disregard for hygiene rules;
  • the use of other people’s cosmetics;
  • stress.

Another possible causative agent of the inflammatory process is the parasite – demodex. This mite lives on the skin of 80% of the world’s population. For a healthy person, it is not dangerous, however, if there is a weakened immune system, endocrine disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, skin diseases, demodex can cause various inflammations, including the formation of barley.

Is it contagious to others?

This disease is not transmitted by airborne droplets. However, contact with a person who has an abscess, especially an external one, can acquire an infection.Infection occurs due to the fact that a fluid is formed in the focus of inflammation, which is then released through the pores to the surface of the skin, and with it the infection comes out. It, in turn, can spread to a healthy person through clothing, household items, cosmetics, handshake, etc.

Transmission of a dangerous pathogen can easily occur if an abscess has burst in the patient. Its contents usually go outside throughout the whole day, so it is very important all this time to carefully monitor the hygiene of not only your own hands, but also to treat the site of inflammation with antiseptic agents in order to protect others and prevent the spread of infection.

Symptoms and first signs

Sometimes the disease is mild, without causing any discomfort, and manifests itself only by the formation of a small tubercle on the lower or upper eyelid. But most often, the symptoms of barley on the eye bring many inconveniences in the form of painful sensations, itching, swelling, headache and redness of the eyes.

It is best to start treatment even before a pimple appears on the skin. At the beginning, a person notes a slight swelling of the eyelid and redness.After a few hours, itching appears, which only intensifies over time. After about a day, you can feel the resulting lump under the skin, resembling a boil or pimple.


Depending on the number of abscesses, there are multiple and single. Unlike single masses, multiple formations cause more intense symptoms and are accompanied by general malaise. This situation requires immediate consultation with an ophthalmologist.

If the disease manifests itself for the first time, they speak of an acute course of the disease, but in the case when inflammation in the eyes appears with some frequency, barley is called recurrent.

By localization, the abscess can be internal and external.


A small pimple appears on the conjunctival side, caused by inflammation of the meibomian glands. In the first 2-3 days, a tubercle forms on the inner surface of the eyelid, accompanied by pain and itching. After 3-4 days, it is opened, and a small scar is formed in this place.


Swelling occurs at the ciliary edge, and after a few days it fills with pus.Usually, the barley is opened after 3-4 days, the contents come out, the wound ceases to be painful and heals soon.

Stages of the disease

There are several stages in the development of the disease:

  1. Infiltration. A small tubercle appears on the inner or outer surface of the eyelid, which can be easily confused with a speck in the eye. In this area, itching, redness, slight swelling occurs, which intensify over time.
  2. Suppuration.Over time, the swelling increases, fills with pus, and causes severe discomfort when touched or blinked.
  3. Breakthrough of the abscess. In the normal course of the disease, after 3-4 days, the abscess matures and breaks out on its own, the contents come out to the surface of the skin. if this does not happen, the purulent capsule will have to be opened surgically in the doctor’s office.
  4. Healing. The affected area ceases to be painful, the wound heals, a crust forms, which disappears in the next few days, revealing healthy tissues.

Diagnostics and treatment

For a quick and effective treatment of the disease, you should seek medical help as soon as possible. Before choosing the appropriate therapy, the optometrist of the First Clinic Orekhovo will prescribe a test to determine the nature of inflammation and the sensitivity of pathogenic bacteria to antibiotics. Based on the results of laboratory studies, a treatment plan is drawn up, which includes not only the intake of antibacterial drugs, but also the external use of appropriate drops and gels.

Will it pass by itself?

In many cases, the abscess goes away on its own and does not require special treatment, but you should not neglect a visit to a specialist. The doctor will give the necessary recommendations and control so that the healing process takes place safely and quickly. However, it happens that over time, the barley remains intact and the opening of the abscess does not occur. Such inflammation on the eyelid can persist for more than one month and often it is possible to get rid of it only during the process of surgical intervention.

What not to do with barley

Never try to squeeze out the abscess. Purulent contents can spread through the blood throughout the eye, which leads to blood poisoning, an abscess of the eyelid and other extremely dangerous consequences.

When an abscess appears, it is also not recommended:

  • rub and comb your eyes;
  • perform any manipulations with dirty hands;
  • apply cosmetics;
  • 90,027 to use contact lenses;

  • to warm up or cool the site of inflammation.


If you ignore the disease and do not start treatment on time, there is a high risk of developing the following complications:

  • Conjunctivitis – spread of pus over the eyeball and inflammation of the mucous membrane.
  • Orbital cellulitis is a purulent inflammation of the orbital tissue of the eyeball. When purulent contents are released, the infection can spread to the deeper layers of the skin and eye tissue.
  • Chalazion – barley is reborn into a round formation on the outside of the eyelid.It is painless, but it causes discomfort, as it puts pressure on the eyeball and reduces the quality of vision.
  • Vascular plexus thrombosis is a violation of blood circulation in the central vein or its branches due to vascular obstruction.
  • Meningitis – inflammation of the brain due to the spread of infection.
  • Sepsis – blood poisoning when purulent contents enter it.

Barley in a child

In children, due to the peculiarities of the immune system and their lifestyle, this purulent disease occurs quite often.Inadequate treatment or untimely medical care can provoke an abscess of the eyelids and other equally dangerous complications.

It is important to understand that in children under one year old, the orbital tissue of the eyeball is especially fragile, so ordinary barley can turn into an abscess even faster – within a few hours. Therefore, it is important to closely monitor the health of the child and, at the first suspicion of a disease, immediately consult a specialist.

Disease prevention

To prevent the development of barley, the following recommendations should be followed:

  • regularly clean the surface of the eyelids;
  • Strengthen the immune system;
  • to eat foods rich in vitamins and microelements;
  • to exclude the use of alcohol and smoking;
  • to reduce the number of stressful situations;
  • to establish a sleep mode;
  • Visit an ophthalmologist regularly for a prophylactic examination of the organs of vision.

The ophthalmologist of our medical clinic has extensive experience in the treatment of inflammatory eye diseases and will do everything necessary to effectively and quickly cope with the pathology once and for all. You can make an appointment by calling +7 (499) 653-58-25 or by leaving a request on the website.

90,000 Barley in a child – causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of barley in children in Moscow in the children’s clinic “SM-Doctor”


Description of the disease
Barley is a common infectious and inflammatory disease of the eyelids, characterized by the formation of purulent exudate in the cavity of the hair follicle of the eyelash or in the sebaceous gland next to it.An ophthalmologist is involved in the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

Description of the disease

Barley is the most common eyelid disease in ophthalmology, with which over 80% of people face at least once in their life. Pathology is infectious in nature and occurs when a bacterial infection enters the eye area. The disease often occurs in childhood and adolescence, which is associated with the imperfection of the immune system and the inability of the child’s body to fight the pathogenic microflora on an equal basis with adults.

There are 2 main types of eyelid barley – external and internal. External barley is characterized by the appearance of an abscess on the outside of the ciliary edge of the eyelid. Internal barley is much less common and is an abscess that develops when the meibomian glands are infected on the inner side of the eyelid.

If you suspect an ocular pathology, you must show the child to a qualified ophthalmologist. Lack of appropriate treatment (or self-medication) can cause irreparable harm to the health of the child’s eyes, causing severe purulent-septic complications.

Symptoms of barley

The clinical picture of the disease occurs acutely and proceeds in a short time. At the beginning of the disease, the child complains of itching of the edge of the eyelid in one or less often both eyes. Then there is limited swelling and redness of the eyelid skin in the area of ​​the inflamed hair follicle, soreness when blinking or touching. In some cases, the swelling is so severe that the baby is unable to open the eye. After a few days (usually two or three), a pustule appears at the top of the formation – a purulent yellowish head.When the barley is opened on its own, purulent contents are released, consisting of dead cells of the hair follicle, bacteria and dertritis.

With internal barley, the symptoms are similar to the manifestations of the external form of pathology, however, in this case, a purulent formation is formed from the inside of the eyelid in the depths of its cartilage. Inflammation can be determined by everting the eyelid. The opening of the abscess of the internal barley, in contrast to the external one, takes place in the conjunctival sac.

With the formation of multiple barley on the eye, symptoms of general intoxication syndrome may appear:

  • increase in body temperature;
  • 90,027 chills;

  • muscle and joint pain, body aches;
  • enlarged lymph nodes.

Causes of barley

Barley occurs when pathogenic microorganisms enter the child’s body. Typically, the infection is bacterial in nature and is caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Much less often, the disease is the result of a viral or fungal infection.

Penetrating into the sebaceous gland or hair follicle, pathogens provoke blockage of the excretory ducts, from which inflammation and accumulation of purulent contents develop inside. The penetration of infection into the child’s eyelids is facilitated by non-observance of hygiene rules, namely:

  • The use of other people’s personal items – towels, handkerchiefs, etc.
  • Lack of necessary hand hygiene, habit of touching eyes with unwashed hands.
  • Putting on contact lenses with unwashed hands, improper storage of contact lenses.
  • Swimming in polluted water bodies.

Typically, barley occurs in immunocompromised children. A decrease in the defenses of a child’s body can occur in the following cases:

  • hypothermia;
  • the presence of chronic diseases;
  • exposure to stress;
  • physical and emotional fatigue;
  • vitamin deficiency;
  • unfavorable environmental conditions, air pollution.

Diagnostics of barley

If there are manifestations of barley, the child must be brought for examination by an ophthalmologist. It will not be difficult for a competent specialist to diagnose the disease based on the characteristic clinical signs. However, confirmation of the diagnosis alone is not enough. To select an effective treatment, the doctor, first of all, needs to determine the cause of the pathology and the features of the course of the disease. For this, the child is sent for additional research:

  • eye biomicroscopy;
  • general and biochemical blood test;
  • general urinalysis;
  • Bacteriological analysis of a smear from the conjunctiva (the method allows you to identify the pathogen and determine its sensitivity to antibiotics).

Barley treatment

As a rule, barley lends itself well to drug treatment and, with properly selected therapy, disappears without a trace in 7-10 days. In the absence of complications, local conservative therapy is sufficient to eliminate eye pathology, including the following procedures:

  • Washing the eyelids with disinfectant solutions
  • Use of antibacterial drops and ointments.
  • Use of topical antibiotic agents.

In addition, physiotherapy procedures, such as UFO and UHF, have proven themselves well in the treatment of barley.

In the presence of symptoms of general intoxication of the body, the child is prescribed antipyretic drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as oral or intramuscular antibiotics. To restore the immune system, the patient can be prescribed immunomodulators and vitamin complexes.

In some cases, barley becomes large and does not respond to conservative treatment.In this situation, surgical removal of the inflammatory focus may be required. To do this, the surgeon carefully opens the abscess with special miniature instruments, and then carefully disinfects the resulting wound.

Prevention of barley

To prevent inflammation of the eyes and eyelids, it is recommended to:

  • wash your hands before touching your face;
  • Strengthen the immune system through hardening, proper nutrition and exercise;
  • to promptly treat any infectious processes in the body.

Ophthalmologists warn, if signs suspicious of barley appear, do not self-medicate and, moreover, do not warm the inflammation focus (with a warm egg, a bag of salt). The most correct decision is to show the child to a pediatric ophthalmologist.

Doctors of the SM-Doctor clinic for children and adolescents practice both conservative and surgical treatment of barley. High-tech diagnostic and surgical equipment, professionalism of staff and an individual approach to each patient allow us to achieve high results in the treatment of ophthalmic diseases.


To make an appointment

We guarantee non-disclosure of personal data and the absence of advertising mailings by
the phone you specified. Your data is necessary to provide feedback and
arranging an appointment with a clinic specialist.

90,000 Barley in the eye – how to treat? VIZIOBUD

Signs and symptoms of the appearance of barley

Doctor’s answer: The first signs of barley are the appearance of pain and inflammation of the eyelid (near the bulbs of the eyelashes) and its redness.Itching may also appear. When the first stage comes to an end (inflammation, redness of the eyelid), purulent discharge begins.

How to recognize barley on the eyelid at the initial stage? In the first 2 days, hordeolum and meibomite manifest themselves in exactly the same way – the eyelid suddenly turns red and swells quickly. Sometimes the swelling reaches such a size that it does not allow the eyes to open. Other typical symptoms gradually increase: pain, irritation, severe pain when blinking, tearing.

After 2 days, in a localization typical of the type of barley, an abscess begins to form:

  1. Outside barley “ripens” in 2–4 days.After that, the abscess spontaneously opens, pus flows out of it, the pain subsides, the recovery process begins, which on average lasts about 7 days. It usually takes 9-14 days from the onset of the first symptoms to the final recovery.
  2. Indoor barley takes much longer to form – 2 to 8 weeks. As a rule, pain and swelling are not very pronounced. However, although rare, there are cases when a blockage of the meibomian glands causes fever and chills. Spontaneous breakthrough of inner barley is rare.If spontaneous resorption has not occurred, the formation will need to be cut and cleaned out. It takes 1-2 months to restore the mucous membrane of the inner part of the eyelid.

If the swelling forms in the center of the eyelid, is not associated with the skin, the eyelid does not swell, there are no tears, cramps and pain, then it can be either a chalazion or a lipoma (wen). Only an ophthalmologist can accurately diagnose and prescribe the appropriate treatment for the underlying cause.

Correct treatment of barley on the eyelid in adults

Nothing fundamentally new in the treatment of barley on the eye has yet been invented.As before, it is recommended:

  • to accelerate the formation of an abscess – warming up with dry heat, for 5-10 minutes, 3-4 times a day;
  • application of eye drops – Albucid, Gentamicin, Tobrex;
  • after spontaneous opening of an abscess – cancellation of warm compresses, periodic treatment of the wound with an antiseptic liquid, for example, chlorhexidine.

Antibiotic eye ointments such as erythromycin, tetracycline or hydrocortisone can be used for external barley, but their effectiveness in accelerating the recovery process has not been proven, and with internal barley they are completely useless.Usually the antibiotic is prescribed in the form of tablets, when the external barley is accompanied by phlegmon.

In case of severe symptoms and deterioration of health, you should consult an ophthalmologist. You may need the introduction of a glucocorticoid into the swelling or surgical care – an incision and curettage, and after drainage with an antibiotic and oral antibiotic intake.

Attention! Self-opening (puncture) of the external barley and squeezing out pus often leads to further spread of the infection and can cause cerebral thrombosis or meningitis.

Barley in a child – what to do?

The complex treatment of barley on the eye of a child includes:

  • dry warm warming – 3 times a day, for 5 minutes, until the moment of “breakthrough”;
  • Regular cleaning of the eyelid with an antiseptic liquid without alcohol;
  • Compliance with hygiene standards with close attention to cleanliness of hands;
  • Pillowcase and towel change frequently;
  • Drink plenty of fluids, good nutrition, inclusion of fiber-rich foods in the diet.

When the body temperature rises, you need to give the baby an antipyretic and see a pediatric ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

If there are several children in the family, then you should try to ensure that they do not touch their eyes with their hands, explaining that such a habit can cause the formation of barley in a brother or sister.

How to prevent the appearance of barley on the eye?

Doctor’s answer: In order not to personally encounter this disease, in the cold season, do not freeze and do not stay in the cold wind.Strengthen immunity with individually selected drugs, proper and balanced nutrition. Practice good hygiene to minimize the risk of eye infections. Barley is a disease that can make adjustments to your usual rhythm of life from a few days to several weeks.

Prevention of the formation of barley on the eyelids includes:

  • developing the habit of not touching the face and eyes with your hands;
  • Observe the rules of personal hygiene, including changing bed linen and towels once every 14 days or more often, do not use someone else’s cosmetics;
  • to monitor the cleanliness of contact lenses and glasses;
  • Treat eye diseases in a timely manner and to the end.

Since a decrease in immunity is to blame for the formation of barley on the eye, maintaining it at the proper level is also included in the list of preventive measures that protect eyelash follicles from infection with Staphylococcus aureus.


Barley on the eye, as well as a runny nose, must be experienced. But if such inflammation of the eyelash follicles or blockages of the ducts of the sebaceous / lacrimal glands began to occur frequently, you should go to an appointment with an ophthalmologist.It is necessary to find out the cause and undergo a course of treatment, since barley on the eyelids, especially recurrent ones, not only interferes with a normal lifestyle, but can also cause visual impairment.

Barley – ProMedicine Ufa

What is barley and how does it manifest

Barley – acute purulent inflammation of the edge of the eyelid: hair follicle or sebaceous gland at the root of the eyelashes. Stye can be quite painful, but it usually goes away on its own within a week.

The disease begins with local redness and slight edema in the area of ​​one eyelash.A small inflammatory focus is manifested by pronounced soreness. On days 2-3, purulent fusion appears and the top acquires a yellowish tint (head). On the 3-4th day, the abscess is opened, pus is poured out, the pain subsides. If inflammation occurs in the area of ​​the outer corner of the eye, then severe edema occurs due to impaired lymph circulation. Barley is a sign of a deficient immune system.

Causes of barley

In 90% of barley diseases, such a pathogen as Staphylococcus aureus is to blame, but barley can also occur due to a simple blockage of the duct, or due to the fault of streptococcus.Often, the disease occurs against the background of colds, weakening of the immune system, while several purulent foci may occur at the same time, including in one eye.

Typically, barley passes on its own in a maximum of 4 days. In this case, the purulent head may not form – if treatment is quickly started at the first symptoms of barley – or the breakthrough and cleansing of the duct occurs independently. But attempts to independently remove the abscess and open it by doctors are strongly condemned.


First, itching of the edge of the eyelid appears, then hyperemia and local swelling develop, which is accompanied by pain at rest and when pressing on the inflamed focus. Sometimes the swelling of the eyelid is so severe that the patient cannot open his eyes. The formation of multiple barley on the eye is accompanied by general symptoms: fever, headache, malaise, swelling of the parotid and submandibular lymph nodes.

After 2-3 days, a pustule appears in the area of ​​the inflammatory focus – a purulent head; at the same time, the pain subsides.With self-opening of barley, purulent contents are released from it, after which all symptoms gradually regress. Usually, a purulent-inflammatory process with barley takes about one week.

Internal barley is located inside the eyelid, deep in the cartilage. It is defined during eversion of the eyelid as local hyperemia and conjunctival edema. After 2-3 days, as the barley ripens, yellowish pus appears through the mucous membrane. Spontaneous opening of internal barley occurs from the conjunctiva.In the future, leaf-shaped granulations often grow on the mucous membrane of the eyelid.


When barley appears on the eye, it is advisable to consult an ophthalmologist. Usually, the recognition of internal or external barley is carried out by visual examination of the eye with eversion of the eyelids under lateral illumination. Additional ophthalmic diagnostics are not required in most cases.

With frequent recurrent barley, consultations of other specialists (endocrinologist, gastroenterologist, dermatologist), determination of blood and urine glucose, glucose-tolerance test, examination of eyelashes for demodex and feces for helminth eggs may be required.A bacteriological examination of a smear from the conjunctiva is carried out to identify the causative agent of barley, sowing blood for sterility.


In most cases, barley heals on its own in a few days or weeks and in such cases does not require mandatory treatment. But if improvement does not occur, in order to avoid complications, it is necessary to treat barley. There are several treatments available.

Warm compress is a simple and effective method of treating barley. Use a towel or a terry cloth soaked in hot water for it.The compress should be comfortable for the skin, not burn it. The compress is applied to the eyelid for 5-10 minutes. This heating of the barley helps to remove the pus. The procedure must be carried out 3-4 times a day, until the onset of improvement.

It is also important to cleanse the skin around the eyelids from purulent discharge or dry crusts, especially if the barley is associated with blepharitis. This can be done using a small amount of baby shampoo diluted with water. Wipe the edge of the eyelid with a moistened cotton swab and rinse the eye with water.

If the stye is very large or its treatment does not bring the expected effect, the doctor can puncture it with a needle or make a small incision over it for drainage. This will release the accumulated contents and rid the eyelid of infection.

No squeezing of barley is allowed. All manipulations must be performed by a qualified specialist.

90,000 Barley on the eye – treatment in the Samara ophthalmological clinic, price

Ophthalmic barley (hordeolum) occurs as a result of pathogenic bacteria located in the thickness of the eyelids, including Staphylococcus aureus, entering the glands, resulting in an inflammatory process.Inflammation of the eyelids severely spoils the appearance, causing swelling, itching, pain and redness. It will not work to hide the defect with makeup. There is no need to wait until the disease goes away on its own, treatment should be started immediately, so seek advice and properly prescribed barley treatment from the specialists of the Samara Ophthalmological Clinic.

Symptoms of barley on the eye

Signs of the presence of hordeolum in humans include:

  • Edema of the eyelids and conjunctiva.
  • Localized or diffuse swelling of the eyelid, painful and hard to the touch.
  • Specific symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, swollen lymph glands, etc.

Internal barley (meibomyitis) has similar symptoms. As it matures, the purulent ball becomes more shaped and dense. There is a white dot at the top. After 3-4 days from the moment of illness, the abscess is opened with the release of purulent contents.

Deformation of the eyelids can be the outcome of severe inflammation of the eyelids. If the treatment is not started on time or started incorrectly, complications may develop, the development of an abscess or phlegmon of the eyelids, the spread of inflammation to other tissues of the eye and head.

Causes of barley

Pathogenic bacteria cause acute purulent inflammation in the eye in humans. This requires “favorable” conditions for the reproduction of bacteria, which already live freely on the skin and mucous membranes.

Similar conditions arise due to the weakened immunity of the body, caused by various factors:

  • colds;
  • postoperative period;
  • lack, excess of vitamins;
  • hypothermia;
  • infectious diseases of the eyelids, including blepharitis, demodicosis;
  • problems of the gastrointestinal tract, endocrine system, diabetes mellitus;
  • poor-quality hygiene procedures;
  • nervous exhaustion, stress;
  • genetic predisposition;
  • anemic.

Remember that if you have barley, the treatment does not need to be carried out at home, use folk remedies and other advice from the Internet. The causes of the disease lie in the state of the body. To avoid complications, you should immediately make an appointment with an ophthalmologist.

Barley on the eye treatment

Diagnosis of barley is carried out by examining the anterior segment of the eyes, eye biomicroscopy procedure using a slit lamp. After a detailed examination and clarification of the circumstances of the disease, the doctor can prescribe a rational treatment for barley in the eye.

A comprehensive approach that combines local anti-inflammatory treatment, diet with physiotherapy gives a good effect.

In the absence of the effect of conservative treatment, surgical intervention is sometimes required. Its necessity, nature and volume are determined by an ophthalmologist.

If barley occurs in a person very often, then it is necessary to undergo an examination in order to exclude somatic diseases, primarily diabetes mellitus and eye demodicosis:

  • blood for sugar,
  • clinical blood test, biochemistry,
  • examination of eyelashes for the presence of demodex;
  • analysis of feces and blood for helminths;
  • blood test for sterility.

Perhaps another consultation of other doctors will follow: immunologist, otolaryngologist, endocrinologist.