A: Styes are red, painful bumps on the eyelid and are chronic problems for many patients. Styes are caused when the glands along the lid margin become clogged and infected, much like a pimple on our face. Some patients are more susceptible to the recurrence of styes because they may have blepharitis, a common lid condition.
If you notice a small lump on your eyelid it is best to see your eye doctor as soon as possible. The longer the treatment is delayed the longer it will take to resolve it and the more painful it becomes. If a stye is not treated promptly or is very large a lump may remain. These lumps (the medical term is chalazion) can be left alone or they may be removed surgically for aesthetic reasons.
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A: Many conditions can contribute to dry eyes, including both your health and your, environment. Are you near any ceiling fans or heaters? Does your car’s heater or air conditioner blow directly on your eyes? Some medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants and diuretics can also contribute to dryness. Hormone changes, such as those attributed to pregnancy or menopause may also be a factor. Some people have a condition called blepharitis, where their lids become dry and flaky, this too can contribute to dryness.Other people may be suffering with “Sjogren’s Syndrome”, which is an autoimmune disorder where the mucous membrane glands are attacked causing significant dryness and discomfort.
Your optometrist can evaluate the source of your dry eyes and initiate a treatment plan. Dry eye syndrome is very common and can be successfully treated. In addition to eye drops there are many new solutions for the treatment of dry eyes that don’t require the use of eye drops.