When immunity is weakened, the opportunistic flora, peacefully existing for years on the surface of the skin, mucous membranes or inside the human body, is activated and can lead to various diseases. Among them is barley – or, scientifically – hordeolum : a familiar condition to many, which in more than 90% of cases is caused by Staphylococcus aureus.
The bacterial pathogen is not the only culprit of the disease. Barley can be caused by a fungus or a microscopic parasitic demodex mite , which likes to settle in or near hair follicles.
According to statistics, most often barley is diagnosed in the age range from 20 to 50 years, but its manifestations are also frequent in childhood. Pathology at least once manifested itself in 90 people out of 1000.
Barley – (lat. hordeolum ) – an acute inflammatory process affecting – depending on the location – one or more ciliary follicles or cartilage glands of the eyelids.
Typically, barley in adults and children is divided into external and internal – according to the place of occurrence of the inflammatory process.
External barley occurs much more often than its internal “brother”. The place of localization is the outer, visible surface of the eyelid.
External barley appears due to infection of the follicles of the eyelashes or glands that are located at the edge of the eyelids. Zeiss’ gland and Moll ‘s gland usually suffer from it . The sebaceous glands of Zeiss are located in pairs around each follicle, into which they secrete their secret. Moll ‘s sweat glands are located there, their function has not yet been fully elucidated.
With external barley, an abscess forms on the outside of the upper or lower eyelid with a white abscess at the top. Over time, the abscess matures and opens. After this, tissue regeneration begins: most often, within a few days, there is no trace of inflammation.
Symptoms of external barley
Usually the disease has a mild onset: a person may not even notice that a health problem has arisen. The primary symptoms of barley on the eye include:
- eyelid hyperemia;
- pain, tingling in the affected area;
After 2-4 days, the infiltrate bursts, the purulent contents come out. After that, the pain subsides and the healing process begins.
In terms of symptoms, stye on the upper eyelid is no different from barley on the lower eyelid.
As for the internal barley, the zone of its defeat is the lobules of the meibomian glands located in the cartilaginous plate of the eyelid. These glands are named after Professor Maybom , who discovered them, and they belong to the sebaceous group. Their secret is involved in the formation of the lipid layer of the tear film lining the surface of the eyeball and the inside of the eyelids.
Symptoms of internal barley
The initial symptoms of internal and external barley are similar: the patient is haunted by pain, swelling, increased lacrimation, sensation of a foreign body. On the inside of the eyelid, you can see a hyperemic area with a yellowish center. The inner barley is usually more painful than the outer one and takes longer to ripen.
Ripened internal barley is opened into the conjunctival sac. With an unfavorable course of the disease, a chalazion can form at the site of barley – a chronic inflammation of the cartilage and gland area, in which the gland duct is clogged and the secret cannot come out. The chalazion looks like a dense, hyperemic ball ranging in size from millet grain to a pea. This condition requires mandatory treatment under the supervision of an ophthalmologist.
In rare cases, the formation of barley – both internal and external – may be accompanied by general malaise, fever, aching joints, muscle and headache, swollen lymph nodes located near the affected eye. Usually such a reaction of the body indicates a complicated course of the disease. Consult a doctor: you may need a more serious treatment for barley or additional diagnostics.
Causes of barley on the eye
The causes leading to the onset of the disease include:
- non-observance of hygiene rules;
- use of someone else’s or expired cosmetics, dirty brushes and applicators;
- untreated demodex ;
- long stay in a dusty, dirty room;
- lack of vitamins;
- colds, hypothermia, decreased immunity;
- constant stress;
Stages of development of barley on the eye
How to treat barley on the eye
Usually barley ripens on its own and opens within a week. The disease without complications does not require medical intervention. To quickly get rid of the disease, you can resort to warming compresses: 3-4 times a day, apply to the inflamed area soaked in warm water or a heated towel. Compresses with aloe juice, decoction of St. John’s wort, chamomile can also help. In addition, careful hygiene of the eyelids is important: with increasing discharge, the eyes should be cleaned of crusts and pus with sterile wipes and boiled water.
If there is severe pain, general malaise, or suspicion that the disease has become complicated, it is better to consult a specialist. The doctor may prescribe:
- a course of antibiotics (for the treatment of chalazion , phlegmon, or in case of frequent occurrence and severe course of the disease;
- local anesthetics, antiseptics, glucocorticoids;
- ultrahigh frequency therapy;
- removal of an eyelash around which barley has formed;
- surgical removal of the barley under local anesthesia. If the inflammation is too great and the treatment is ineffective, the surgeon will open the abscess and clean it of the accumulated pus.
How not to treat barley
In no case should you squeeze or open barley yourself. A relatively harmless disease with this approach can lead to health and life-threatening complications: blood poisoning, meningitis, phlegmon of the eyelid, thrombosis of the eye veins.
You should also not self-prescribe antibiotics or other medicines.
Prevention of eye barley
Prevention of the disease consists in simple rules, the main of which is hygiene. Not worth:
- leave cosmetics on eyelashes and eyelids overnight;
- rub your eyes, comb them;
- use other people’s brushes for applying makeup;
- overwork, overcool;
- neglect the rules of wearing and caring for contact lenses.
By following these recommendations, you will not protect yourself from the appearance of barley by 100%, however, you will significantly reduce the likelihood of its occurrence.