A hordeolum is an infection of an eyelash follicle or a nearby gland. It is also known as a stye. The infection causes a red bump on the eyelid that may look like a pimple.
An external hordeolum is outside of the lash line. An internal one is inside of the lash line.
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A hordeolum forms when the oil from a gland of the eyelid thickens and can no longer flow. Bacteria trapped in the gland or an eyelash follicle leads to infection.
Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
A hordeolum usually begins as a red and swollen area on or in the eyelid. It may be in one or both eyes. Often, the area is tender and painful. Other problems may be:
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on your eye. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.
The goal of treatment is to ease symptoms and promote healing. Options are:
To lower the risk of this health problem:
The American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Optometric Association
Canadian Association of Optometrists
Canadian Ophthalmological Society
Chalazion and hordeolum (stye). The Merck Manual: Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/eye_disorders/eyelid_and_lacrimal_disorders/chalazion_and_hordeolum_stye.html. Accessed October 22, 2020.
Hordeolum and chalazion treatment, the full gamut. Optometry Today website. Available at: https://pedclerk.bsd.uchicago.edu/sites/pedclerk.uchicago.edu/files/uploads/Treatment.pdf. Accessed October 22, 2020.
Hordeolum (stye). Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/pediatrics/hordeolum_stye_85,P01075. Accessed October 22, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD Last Updated: 5/19/2021