What causes styes in the eyes?
In this video, ophthalmologist and Sharecare Advisory Board member David Demartini, MD, explains what causes styes in the eye and their degree of contagiousness.
[MUSIC PLAYING] Styes are not contagious because usually it comes from our own bacteria. [MUSIC PLAYING]
Styes in the eye come from infections in the oil glands, which are part of our lid margin.
The tear film has to have oil on its surface in order to keep it from evaporating. The oil glands in our lid margins create this oil,
and it slowly seeps out, and it comes on the surface of the eye. This happens every day.
We aren't aware that it's going on, but it's a very important part of tear production. Occasionally, one of those little oil glands
gets stopped up. And when it gets stopped up, the bacteria will multiply inside that gland.
And then the gland will swell, and one gets what's commonly called a stye, or we call it a hordeolum.
Hopefully, those little swellings will open and drain and then the body will clear that.
Most of the time, if we put warm compresses on there, we can encourage that to happen, and we can clear that up even
without antibiotics. Occasionally, the infection gets so intense
that even the skin is involved. And so then we will go to oral antibiotics as well as
topical antibiotics. Styes are not contagious because usually it comes from our own bacteria from our own skin.
Browse videos by topic categories