Monday March 10 2014

sty: dealing with it

By Roland D. Nasasira

Commonly known as Kasekele in the central part of Uganda, an eye sty or hordeolum, is a small circular swelling on the inside or outside of an eyelid.
Dr Charles Mainga, an optometrist at Eye to Eye Optical Centre says eye stys are characterised into two; external and internal stys. External is when the swelling is on the outside of the eyelids (red bumps) while internal is when some glands are infected inside the eyelids hence causing red bumps underneath the lid.

Either of them can cause pus and are very painful. They usually last seven to 10 days with or without treatment.

“The causes are generally bacterial in that they bring about blockage of oil glands hence a bump (small circular swelling) on the eyelashes,” Dr Mainga says. Other causes include poor nutrition, deprivation of sleep, improper hygiene and sharing of wash clothes like face towels.

He adds that stys disappear with or without treatment though there are measures for managing them. One can apply warm compresses using the back of a teaspoon dipped in warm water.

The back of a teaspoon is used instead of a cloth or cotton because it touches the swollen part directly rather than the cloth compressing the whole eye.

Other remedies include compressing gently on the bump incision, draining the pus and conclusively, applying antibiotic ointment, cleansing with soap or Johnson’s baby shampoo and applying eye drops such as erythromycin.