A stye, also known as sty or hordeolum, is an acute infection of the oil glands of the eyelid or the hair follicle at the base of an eyelash. Symptoms of a stye are redness, tenderness and pain in the affected area, with development of pus in the later stages. Stress, skin conditions, and other chronic diseases like diabetes are known to precipitate the formation of a stye. A chalazion is a slowly enlarging nodule on the eyelid that is formed by inflammation and obstruction of a sebaceous gland. Chalazia tend to be larger, less painful and occur less acutely than hordeolums. A stye usually ruptures and resolves within a few days, whereas chalazia may persist for several weeks or months.
Ayurvedic treatment for both the conditions is aimed at treating the cause of the disease. Medicines used for acute infection are used in the treatment of stye. These medicines include Triphala-Guggulu, Sukshma-Triphala, Arogya-Vardhini, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Mahamanjishthadi-Qadha and Gandhak-Rasayan. Medicines containing Haridra (Curcuma longa), Triphala (Three fruits), Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Chandan (Santalum album), Kapur (Purified camphor), Daruharidra (Berberis aristata) and rose water are used in the form of local application and eye drops. Mild fomentation is given to the affected eyelash for early drainage of pus and a quick resolution of the wound.
In chalazia, blockage and inflammation predominate over infection. Medicines used to treat this condition are: Triphala-Guggulu, Arogya-Vardhini, Medohar-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Chandraprabha-Vati, Kachnaar-Guggulu, Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Behada (Terminalia bellerica), Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa), Lashuna (Allium sativum), Khadeer (Acacia catechu), Nimba (Azadirachta indica), Nishottar (Operculina turpethum), Guggulu (Commiphora mukul) and Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa). Mild local fomentation and medicated eye drops are useful in this condition too. Chalazia usually resolve within two to four weeks with the above mentioned treatment.
Some people have a tendency for a recurrence of both styes and chalazia. The under-lying cause behind this should be determined. Chronic skin conditions can be treated using Arogya-Vardhini, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu and Mahamanjishthadi-Qadha on a long term basis. Medicines like Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra) and Suvarna-Malini-Vasant can be used to improve the immune status of the body. Diabetes should be controlled using the appropriate medicines. It is important to maintain an adequate hygiene of the skin and eyes.