Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

Please read our important medical disclaimer.

Question:
About a week ago I woke up in the middle of the night and both my eyes were itching. I found that the more I rubbed them, the worse they got. Two days later my right eye lid was red near my eye lashes and my left eye was sore to touch especially on the inside corner and it felt swollen. I kept putting warm damp compresses on them. My left eye got a pimple like bump on the bottom of my top lid and was hindering my sight. The left eye continued to swell in the corner and it felt like there was a lump maybe a quarter of an inch big and a big swollen red bag started drooping underneath the eye. It was soft and about as wide as my eye. Do you know what may have caused this?

Answer:
The most likely cause here is a common stye—an inflammation of a blocked gland in the substance of the lid which has gotten infected, is swollen and causes the pain and swelling. Warm compresses are helpful but most people apply them too infrequently. They must be used four to five times per day using a very warm washcloth held on the closed lid for four minutes at a time. Over a four to five day interval this will usually cause this lesion to diminish or disappear. If persistent, especially if painful or affecting vision, then you should see your ophthalmologist for more definitive treatment. Note: a rare cause of this is an arthropod bite, usually from a spider and this must be considered in persistent lesions.

Answered by: Richard Bensinger, MD Dr. Richard Bensinger

Categories: Eye Conditions

Have a question that hasn't been answered yet? Ask it!

Answered: Mar 19, 2013

Pop needs to be configured.