As the holiday season approaches, the last thing anyone wishes for is an unwelcome guest lingering on their eyelid - the “eye stye.” Dr. Zuraida Zainalabidin (Dr. Zie), an Optometrist at Head to Toe Healthcare, sheds light on this common yet bothersome condition, offering insights into cutting-edge treatments that revolutionize stye management.

credit pexels João Jesus

credit pexels João Jesus

Eye stye (or sty), often referred to as Barley on the eye, can be a real nuisance. Very rarely do styes affect both eyes at the same time. An individual will usually have one stye on one eye. However, it is possible to have multiple styes on one eye or one on each eye. While they may resolve on their own, the discomfort they bring is something we all want to avoid. A stye resembles painful red lumps around the eyelid, which are primarily bacterial infections affecting small glands by the eyelashes. Patients may experience burning in the eyes, crusting of eyelid margins, itching on the eyelids, light sensitivity, tearing, and blinking discomfort.

Dr. Zie emphasizes the importance of prompt and effective treatment, stating, “Conservative methods, such as warm compresses and avoiding contact lenses or eye makeup, are often recommended. However, if left untreated, styes can persist for weeks, and the patient may have to use new-age treatments.”

The swelling occurs within the eyelid and is usually more severe than an external swelling. Distinguishing between two types of styes, Dr. Zie explains, “A hordeolum is an acute bacterial infection, commonly treated with warm compresses and sometimes topical or oral antibiotics. On the other hand, a chalazion (cyst in the eyelid) results from a blocked oil gland or meibomian gland, leading to inflammation. While initial treatments are similar, advanced options become crucial when conventional approaches fall short.”

Breaking away from the traditional methods, Dr. Zie shares newer treatments, IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and RF (Radiofrequency) treatments as game-changers in stye management. IPL and RF provide a medication-free, non-invasive solution for individuals seeking comfort and efficiency. 

The mechanism behind IPL is that it harnesses photobiomodulation, stimulating cells to function more efficiently. This advanced technology addresses not only the symptoms but also the underlying comorbidities, offering a faster and more complete healing process, sometimes in as little as 3 to 5 days. Dr. Zie emphasizes that IPL is derived from other medical branches, extending its application seamlessly to the inflamed skin area of the eyelids. RF, on the other hand, is a novel treatment in eye care that utilizes energy to generate heat, aiding in the quick resolution of styes. It's a painless procedure, requiring less than 30 minutes to complete.

Addressing concerns about RF treatment, Dr. Zie reassures, "RF involves a gentle massage around the eye with a handheld attachment, creating a warming sensation. This encourages the stye to open and express its contents, with minimal discomfort reported by patients." 

Dr. Zuraida Zainalabidin brings forth innovative solutions for those grappling with persistent eye styes. As the holiday season approaches, individuals can now look forward to a clearer vision and a stye-free celebration. Dr. Zie's commitment to integrating advanced technologies into eye care showcases her dedication to enhancing patient well-being and comfort during the festive season and beyond.



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