external hordeolum

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hordeolum, external

An acute suppurative infection (usually caused by staphylococci) of an eyelash follicle or of the sebaceous gland of Zeis or of the sweat gland of Moll (located in the region of an eyelash). The condition occurs most commonly in people who have a lower resistance to staphylococci as in debility, or who have a blepharitis. It has the appearance of a hyperaemic elevated area, indurated on the eyelid margin where it may rupture and discharge yellowish pus. The symptom is tenderness of the eyelid that may become marked as the suppuration progresses and the eyelid near the margin is red and swollen. Treatment usually consists of hot compresses and application of an antibiotic ointment and perhaps removal of the affected eyelash. Surgical incision is rare. Syn. stye.


inflammation of one or more sebaceous glands of the eyelid.

external hordeolum
involves the glands of Zeis and Moll, forming an abscess on the eyelid margin. Called also sty.
internal hordeolum
involves the meibomian glands. See also chalazion.