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Stye Specialist and Treatment In New York City

Dr. Rapoport provides individualized treatment to each stye and provides a customized prevention plan to ensure that the underlying condition of clogged oil glands is treated and the stye does not recur again



What is a Stye?

If you have a swollen painful eyelid, you may have a stye. These are very common and can lead to an uncomfortable heavy feeling and an embarrassing appearance. Timely and effective treatment is key to getting rid of these early so they do not become exacerbated and difficult to treat.
A stye, also known as a hordeolum, is a bacterial infection of an oil gland in the eyelid. This results in a red tender bump at the edge of the eyelid. The outside or the inside of the eyelid can be affected.
The cause of a stye is usually a bacterial infection by Staphylococcus aureus. The internal ones are due to infection of the meibomian while the external ones are due to an infection of the gland of Zeis. A chalazion on the other hand is a blocked oil gland without infection. A chalazion is typically in the middle of the eyelid and not painful.
Often a stye will go away without any specific treatment in a few days or weeks. Recommendations to speed improvement include warm compresses, or boiling an egg or baking a potato- the point is to hold as much heat to the stye as possible.
Occasionally steroid/ antibiotic eye ointment may be recommended. Styes often recur frequently unless the underlying condition of blepharitis or meibomian gland dysfunction is addressed and preventative measures are taken. Styes can occur seemingly all of a sudden, at any given age. They do not have to do with skin condition, lid hygiene, or diet.

What are Signs and Symptoms of a Stye?

The first sign of a stye is a small, yellowish spot at the center of the bump on an eyelid that develops and expands in a local area.
Other stye symptoms may include:
  • A lump on the top or bottom eyelid
  • Localized swelling of the eyelid
  • Localized pain
  • Redness
  • Tenderness
  • Blurred vision
  • Mucous discharge in the eye
  • Irritation of the eye
  • Crusting of the eyelid margins
  • Burning in the eye
  • Droopiness of the eyelid
  • Scratchy sensation on the eyeball(itching)
  • Light sensitivity
  • Tearing
  • Discomfort during blinking
  • Sensation of a foreign body in the eye

What Can Happen?

Stye complications occur in very rare cases. However, the most frequent complication of styes is progression to a chalazion that causes cosmetic deformity, corneal irritation, and often requires a steroid injection or incision and drainage. Large styes may interfere with one’s vision.
Another potential complication of a stye is eyelid cellulitis, also called preseptal cellulitis is a skin infection of the eyelid. The eyelid is more red, painful, and can be warm to the touch than just a stye. If eyelid cellultis develops, it is treated with both topical and oral antibiotics, in addition to the other stye treatments already mentioned.
Very rarely, if eyelid cellulitis is not treated, it can spread to orbital cellulitis. Orbital cellulitis means the infection affects the tissues behind the eye and has spread further back. This is more dangerous because it can potentially spread to the brain. Signs of orbital cellulitis include double vision, decreased vision in the affected eye, red and painful eye, mucus in the eye, and occasional fever. In addition to the regular treatment for preseptal cellulitis and styes, occasionally hospital admission and IV antibiotics are necessary if orbital cellulitis is diagnosed. 

What Can I Do To Prevent Styes?

  • Upon awakening, application of a warm washcloth to the eyelids for one to two minutes may be beneficial in decreasing the occurrence of styes by liquefying the contents of the oil glandsof the eyelid and thereby preventing blockage. This can be followed by using an over the counter eyelid cleansers such as Avenova or Ocusoft.
  • To prevent developing styes, it is recommended to never share cosmetics or cosmetic eye tools with other people. People should also keep their eye tools clean and generally practice proper eye hygiene. It is also recommended to remove makeup every night before going to sleep and discard old or contaminated eye makeup.
  • People with styes should avoid eye makeup and eye cream. People are advised not to lance the stye themselves, as serious infections can occur.

What is the Treatment Once I Develop a Stye?

Once you seek treatment, you may be prescribed a steroid / antibiotic ointment to use nightly over the affected eye.
  • Oral antibiotics are sometimes given to people with multiple styes or with styes that do not seem to heal, and to people who have blepharitis or rosacea.
  • If resolution does not occur, a combination of a steroid and anti scarring medication can be injected into the stye. If resolution still does not occur, incision and drainage can be performed within the office under topical anesthesia. The procedure consists of making a small incision on the inner or outer surface of the eyelid, depending if the stye is pointing externally or not. After the incision is made, the pus is drained out of the gland and antibiotic ointment is placed over the incision.



Stye Treatment with Dr. Rapoport in NYC

At Manhattan Eye, Dr. Rapoport provides individualized treatment to each stye and provides a customized prevention plan to ensure that the underlying condition of clogged oil glands is treated and the stye does not recur again. By focusing on a wellness prevention approach, Dr. Rapoport allows for a more conservative treatment plan. Dr. Rapoport also provides facetime consultation if you are not able to make it into the office for these uncomfortable situations.

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