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(also stye), an acute purulent inflammation of a sebaceous gland at the root of the eyelashes. Sties are caused by a pyogenic, usually staphylococcal, infection. A painful point appears on the margin of the eyelid at the onset of the disease. Reddening and swelling occur, and there is edema of the eyelid and conjunctiva. A yellowish abscess forms two to four days later, and, when lanced, it discharges pus. A sty is often accompanied by headache and fever. Recurrences are common. Squeezing pus from a sty may cause complications, for example, phlegmon of the orbit and meningitis.
A similar clinical picture is produced by meibomianitis—inflammation of the meibomian glands. In this condition, the inflammation develops less acutely. Treatment includes the use of dry heat, ultrahigh frequency, yellow mercury ointment, and soluble sulfacetamide solution.