Initially, the eyelid is a little reddened and sensitive to pressure, at the blink of an eye some feel an unpleasant foreign body sensation, later swells the inflamed area, it hurts and fills with pus: A barley grain (Hordeolum) is an acute, infectious inflammation of the sebaceous glands of eyelids.
One differentiates between external and internal barley grain. The outer is well visible, part of the lid is crimson, over-warmed, swollen and bumpy bulging. In the inner part, especially the inside of the lid is inflamed, which is why it often only becomes visible when the lid is turned over. The root of the evil? If the ducts of the sebaceous glands on the edge of the lid become clogged by local inflammation, the secretion that lubricates the edge of the lid and is responsible for the mobility of the eyelids as part of the tear film can no longer run off. The secretion jams and ignites – a barley grain arises.
If you are regularly – every few months – affected by such an inflammation, this may indicate a weakened immune system. In this case, metabolic diseases, especially diabetes mellitus should be excluded. Patients with chronic lid margin inflammation are also particularly susceptible to the development of a barley grain.
In the acute stage of inflammation, the barley grain can be treated in two different ways: Either you force your spontaneous emptying, for example, by warm, dry envelopes hang up or the lid irradiated with infrared light. Redness and swelling continue to increase in the sequence until the obstructed exit duct rises and the secretion drains off. It is rather discouraged by damp heat such as laying chamomile tea bags, because this leads to softening of the skin, which can result in the carryover of the germs.
Instead of forcing emptying, one can also try to quench the acute inflammation with the help of anti-inflammatory and antibiotic drops or ointments. The outer barley grain also has cooling with a disinfected metallic object, eg. As a teaspoon proven.
If the inflammation does not completely disappear within a few days, there is a risk that an encapsulated, usually harmless Talgan collection will remain, which – if it is disturbed – can be surgically removed by the ophthalmologist.
You should go to the doctor if …
… the barley grain does not “break up” or disappear within five days.
… the signs of inflammation increase or in addition mild fever or swollen lymph nodes occur.
… the inflammation affects the entire eyelid.
Under no circumstances should you try to burst the barley grain by pressing or squeezing. This can spread the bacteria in the gland and cause other, sometimes dangerous infections.
By the way: In contrast to the barley grain, in a hailstone (chalazion) the inflammatory blockage of the sebaceous glands is chronic and hardly painful. Since the spontaneous regression is very rare, the hailstone usually has to be surgically removed by the ophthalmologist.
Source: Medizin Populaer