A stye (hordeolum) is a small pea-size painful abscess that usually occurs due to inflamed oil glands on the edge of the eyelid, where the eyelash meets the lid.
Although Styes are particularly common in children, they can happen to people of all ages. They are usually visible on the surface but can sometimes appear deep inside the eyelids or near the eyelashes.
- External Stye (External Hordeolum): This is the commonest type which is seen along the edges of eyelids due to infection of hair follicle of eyelashes. It usually starts as a small, red, painful swelling on the eyelid which changes into a small, yellow pus-filled spot.
Internal Stye (Internal Hordeolum): Also known as Meibomian stye, this type is seen on the inner surface of the eyelid, against the eyeball when the meibomian gland becomes infected. It may disappear completely once the infection is gone or sometimes remain as a small fluid-filled cyst or nodule for many years.
Although less common, internal styes are bigger in size and last longer than external ones, and in some patients, vision can be temporary impaired.