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Hordeolum

DESCRIPTION: A common staphyloccal infection of the lid glands; essentially an abscess, with pus formation; symptoms include swelling, redness, and pain. Two types are classified: internal hordeolum (relatively large, affecting the meibomian glands; may point toward the skin or toward the conjunctive) and external hordeolum (also known as a "sty;" smaller and more superficial; an infection of the glands of Moll or Zeiss; painful; always points toward the skin side of the lid margin).

TREATMENT: Both types of hordeola are treated with warm compresses for 10-15 minutes 3-4 times a day; if the condition does not improve within 48 hours, incision and drainage of the pus is indicated. Antibacterial ophthalmic ointment is also helpful.

IMPLICATIONS: Although hordeola are not visually threatening, they are uncomfortable and should be treated; prevention of infection spreading to other parts of the eye is a consideration. A large internal hordeolum has the potential to affect the entire lid through accompanying cellulitis.

Personal hygiene, especially for children, is an indication.

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