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Eye and Vision Care

Sty Issues

04/14/2009

Question:

My son, who is 16, has had a reoccurring problem with stys since he was very young. He would get them at least twice a year. I’ve taken him numerous times to the optometrist. They say there’s not much they can do. He has to keep the area clean where the eyelash meets the lid.

Would it benefit him more to see an ophthalmologist ?

Answer:

A sty or hordeolum is an infection of the glands in the eyelid. Often taking extra care to keep the area clean and applying hot compresses will resolve the problem; however, some cases benefit from the use of an antibiotic.

In reoccurring cases, cleaning the area and hot compresses should be incorporated into a daily routine. It is best to discuss the proper way to perform these techniques with your eye doctor.

Optometrists and ophthalmologists are both well-qualified to treat the condition you describe. However, if the results you have obtained do not meet your expectations, or if you have remaining unanswered questions, a second opinion from another eye doctor is an option.  

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Response by:

Andrew J Toole, OD, PhD, FAAO
Clinical Assistant Professor of Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University