A stye is a boil on the eyelid; it begins at the root of a hair as a hard swelling which may extend to the whole lid. The tip of the swelling takes on a yellowish color, breaks down and discharges “matter” or pus. There are pain and a feeling of tension in the lid, and, very rarely, some fever. When one stye follows another it is well to have the eyes examined by an oculist, as eye strain is often an inviting cause of the trouble, and this can be corrected by the use of glasses. Otherwise the patient is probably “run down” from chronic constipation and anæmia (poverty of the blood) and other causes, and needs a change of air, tonics, and exercise out of doors. In a depreciated condition, rubbing the lids causes introduction of disease germs.
The immediate treatment, which may cut short the trouble, consists in bathing the eyelid for fifteen minutes at a time, every hour, with a hot solution of boric acid (half a teaspoonful to the cup of water). Then at night the swelling should be painted with collodion, several coats, being careful not to get it in the eye, as it would cause much smarting. If the stye persists in progressing, bathing it in hot water will cause it to discharge pus and terminate much sooner.