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noun. an infection of an oil gland at the edge of the eyelid

A hordeolum is usually caused by a bacterial staph infection and results in pain, swelling, and redness.  A hordeolum looks like a pus-filled lump or pimple at the edge of the eyelid. Treatment includes warm compresses and antibiotic eye drops or ointments.  Hordeola can be prevented by keeping the eyelids clean, removing makeup at bedtime, replacing eye makeup every three months, and hand washing before touching the area around the eyes.  Do not attempt to squeeze or drain the stye yourself.  Contact your eye doctor immediately if the redness and swelling extend beyond your eyelid to your cheek or other parts of your face.


Some people are more prone to develop a hordeolum, but it is also associated with:

  • Contact lens wear

  • Poor hygiene

  • Using eye makeup that is old or contaminated

  • Blepharitis, an inflammation or infection of the eyelids

  • Systemic conditions such as rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, or diabetes

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