Archive for April 2nd, 2010


The Eye’s Got It

   Posted by: Michael Bernier   in Today's Reality

Over the last three days I’ve noticed some irritation developing in my left eye. Usually what’s happened is an eyelash or piece of dust has fallen onto my eye, and the eyelid rubs it around. My regular cure for that is to let nature take its course: the irritation produces more tears, the extra tears flush out the whatever-it-is, and it’s done.

This time has been different. The tears have increased in quantity, but nothing’s been flushed out. I even went so far as to put in extra eye drops (something I absolutely hate doing), but that didn’t help either. It was becoming harder to see clearly through the eye from all of the tears and drops. Finally, flustered at my failure to fix the problem on my own, I did the one thing that most guys won’t admit – I asked my wife for help. She took one look at it and said, “there’s no eyelash in there…you’ve got a stye.”

A stye? I didn’t recall ever having one before. “Okay”, I asked, “how do I fix it?”

I knew what the answer would be, but I waited to hear her say it: “Let me call the doctor’s office and see if they’ll call in a prescription for you.” Sure enough, the doctor did call one in for an antibiotic called Keflex…three pills per day for five days.

Wonderful, I thought. Another medication to add to the assortment of pills and capsules I consume for all the other maladies I’ve collected over the years. At least this one would only be for a short time; these days, most of my prescriptions are marked “take until further notice or death, whichever comes first.”

But, before I started popping more pills, I wanted to understand more about what I had. What exactly is a stye? And how did I get one? A few minutes of online research gave me a few answers. First, for those readers who are less informed (as I was), a stye is an irritated and sometimes slightly swollen area on the eyelid. It is usually caused by one of two things: either a staphylococcus (staph) infection, or a blocked oil gland inside the eyelid (in other words, a pimple). Frankly, they both sounded pretty gross to me, but if I had to choose I’d rather it have been caused by a staph infection; there’s something about the idea of having a pimple on the inside of my eyelid that just makes me shudder. As far as how I had come to get it, there seemed to be so many different ways listed that they could best be summed up by saying “it just happens” and leave it at that.

This new-found knowledge led to my next question: what were my choices for getting rid of it? My sources said if I did nothing at all I could expect it to take ten to fourteen days to clear up; or, with medication, it would take about four days. In this case, four sounded a lot better to me than fourteen, so I decided it was a good idea to go ahead and take the medication. Besides, what’s one more pill when I’m already taking a dozen or so every day?

So, armed with information and antibiotics, I am doing battle with this scourge known as a stye. It is a fight I expect to win handily if not immediately, and it will be worth it in the long run. After all, I just got new glasses last week; it would certainly be nice to get my money’s worth out of them by being able to see clearly through both lenses!