I might have mentioned before that the great designer was at his/her constructive best when the eye was being put together.  Every little consideration was taken into account.  For example, we know that the production of fluids to moisten the exposed surface of the eye is continuous.  If, because of emotional stress, say, there is a profusion of fluid production from some special (lachrymal) glands, then we have tears overflowing.  Of course, there are canals to lead off the excess fluid into the nostrils (that’s why we sniffle when we cry).

Under normal conditions, the fluids that are secreted are well catered for by these run-off canals/ducts.  However, there is another mechanism to prevent the overflow of liquid secretion.  There is an oily barrier to prevent the overflow of secretion, leading the latter to the drainage ducts.  This oily barrier is in the form of a secretion which comes from several glands that have their exit aperture on the edge (margin) of the eyelids.

These glands secrete an oily material which prevents the lubricating liquid from overflowing the eyelids.  Sometimes, however, these glands can become infected or micro-particles can physically constrain their fucntion.  They then swell and become inflamed (red).  Pus develops in these minute glands.  What we have then is a mini- (microscopic) abscess.  And that is what a sty is: a mini-abscess of the glands on the edge of the eyelid.


As usual, we should strive to ripen the abscess.  This can be achieved with hot compresses on the eye.  The ripened mini-abscess will soon rupture and all the pus will flow out.  One can use antibiotics to stem the infection.  In the days of my youth (in Jurassic times) my mother swore by a yellow tube of something called ‘Golden Eye Ointment.’  I don’t know what it contained, penicillin maybe.  Whatever it was, it worked.

Later in life, I have seen myriad antibiotic eye ointments, creams, solutions – some containing vitamin A (which is supposed to be good for eye function – but mini-abscesses?) I detest using antibiotics for every little health problem.  So, in this case I will advise that the hot compresses be used and after the rupture of the sty, we can bathe the affected eyelid with a cleansing/soothing lotion.  Always use a clean (sterilized) cotton ball to wipe the discharge away.

If the problem persists one could use the antibiotic/anti-inflammatory eye drops – three drops on the infected eyelid margin, thrice daily.  Most antibiotic eye drops now have the advantage of containing an anti-inflammatory component as well.

I should mention, in passing, that in some dogs (white Poodles, for example) there exists some big white bumps along the eyelid margin.  They are quite unsightly.  These lumps are caused by an accumulation of thickened secretion.  Just squeeze the lump and express the thick mass of substance.  That should do the trick.  If not, you may wish to revert to the advice given above for stys.

Enjoy the coming week!

Have a safe, enjoyable and accident free Mashramani!

Please implement disease preventative measures (vaccinations, routine dewormings, monthly anti-heartworm medication, etc) and adopt-a-pet from the GSPCA’s Animal Clinic and Shelter at Robb Street and Orange Walk, if you have the wherewithal to care well for the animals.  Do not stray your unwanted pets, take them to the GSPCA’s Clinic and Shelter instead.  If you see anyone being cruel to an animal, or if you need any technical information, please get in touch with the Clinic and Shelter by calling 226-4237.

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