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"Why do I keep getting styes in both of my eyes? Could it be hormonal?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy do I keep getting styes in both of my eyes? Could it be hormonal?


I developed my first sty when I was in high school. I had no idea what sty’s were and what caused them. After going to the doctor I determined it must have been from using old make up that belonged to my sister. I soon developed another sty a few weeks later. This time I knew it couldn’t have been from using old make up. My doctor then told me to make sure to keep my fingers out my eyes since they had all different types of bacteria on them. Quite soon after I got another sty, this time on the top lid of both of my eyes. After consulting with my doctor we discovered that each time I got a sty is was within my cycle for my period. Is it possible for your body to produce the bacteria for sty’s every time you start your period?


Styes, or hordeola as they are known medically, are an inconvenient nuisances that are usually quickly and conservatively treated with warm, moist compresses. They are, of course, infections of either the tear duct, hair follicles, or the sweat glands at the tips of your eyelashes, and can be made worse without appropriate hygiene, such as cleaning the face well after using makeup. Recurrent styes are interesting and somewhat worrisome as there is the concern that something is making the same thing happen over and over. You don't mention if it is the same part of your eye, but it is important to note that, if it is, you might want to consider meeting with a specialist for more investigation. Some very rare but serious conditions can cause recurrent styes, and it would be appropriate to see why that specific duct or gland is having the same issue again and again. If it is different parts of your eye, or even different eyes, than that would be somewhat reassuring, but still worth discussing with your doctor. While hormonal changes can cause changes in almost everything, I am not aware of any research indicating that the ocular bacterial flora changes based on what stage of your cycle you are in. Please speak to an ophthalmologist or ear-nose-and throat surgeon (aka, otolaryngologist) for more discussion about your recurrent stye and to see if there is something serious.

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