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Barley grain and hailstorm: How contagious are they and where is the difference?

Barley grain and hailstorm: Signs, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Barley grain and hailstorm: Signs, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

A barley grain or a hailstorm on the eye is unpleasant, but usually harmless and healing by itself. What exactly is a barley grain? Is it perhaps an eye disease? Is there a risk of infection? And what is the difference between the hailstones? In the following article, you will learn more about barley and hailstones.

What is a barley?

The medical term for a barley is Hordeolum, derived from the Latin word “hordeum”, which means barley. The barley is a bacterial infection of certain glands on the eyelid – a painful, purulent inflammation of the eyelid, not only of the lid margin, with a clearly visible and palpable elevation, which is very pressure sensitive.

Origin and cause of a barley

In the case of barley, it is an inflammation originating from the glands of the lid and depending on the position of the affected gland, more external or internal inflammation. The formation of the barley is usually caused by bacteria of the genus Staphylococcus aureus and is spread by lube infection.

The eye has several different glands. Two types of barley can be distinguished – depending on the glands that are affected by the eyelid:

  • inner barley (Latin: Hordeolum internum)

The inner barley grain is the most common barley grain variant and affects the sebaceous glands on the inner margin of the eyelid, namely the so-called Meibom glands. Since the inner barley is found on the inner side of the eyelid, it is often not visible from the outside and can only be identified by folding the eyelid outwards. In rare cases, an internal gonorrhea can also affect the conjunctiva, causing a swelling of the conjunctiva, or conjunctivitis.

  • outer barley (Latin: Hordeolum externum)

To an external barley grain is when a bacterial infection of the so-called minor and Zeis glands exists. These glands are located on the outer side of the eyelids and are adjacent to the eyelashes, so that the eyelid is typically swollen and reddened. An external barley grain is easy to recognize.

The so-called hail grain, latin chalazion and a barley grain, which is very similar and therefore easily confounded, can also be considered as differential diagnoses, which, however, is insensitive to pressure or is not painful (pressure-indolent) and is not caused by bacteria.

Barley grains often occur in the context of a weakened immune system: in patients with diabetes mellitus special care is also to be taken, also barley grains are also recurring in acne vulgaris (recurrences) or in gastrointestinal disorders. The formation of barley is also not uncommon in the case of eyelid inflammation or dry eyes. High mental stress (eg stress) can also be responsible for the disease.

In the case of the barley grain, the pus is accumulated, causing a painful thickening and redness: as a rule, the pus is discharged after about one week, without taking precautionary measures. In the ideal case the cure follows immediately.

Symptoms of a barley

Characterize a barley grain

  • Swelling of the affected area
  • Pain on the affected site
  • reddening
  • pressure sensitivity
  • pus formation

Is a barley contagious?

All diseases with a bacterial basis are contagious – in principle, a barley is also contagious, since the trigger is usually an infection with bacteria. Nevertheless, the risk of infection is comparatively low, for example in comparison to conjunctivitis. The “jumping” of the bacteria in a barley from “eye to eye”, as one might imagine, is not to be expected! For infection with a barley grain, the lubrication infection plays a decisive role. In order to reduce the risk of infection almost completely, the following behaviors can be used:

  • Avoid hand-to-eye contact (even if the barley is itching and burning, it should not be touched: this prevents the exciter from being transmitted via body contact, for example by shaking hands)
  • Frequent and careful hand washing with soap (before and after touching the eyes)
  • strict separation of towels and washcloths
  • No make-up for the eyes (eyelash tint, eyeliner, etc.): it is recommended to replace mascara after three to six months, in order not to make a bacterial herd
  • No contact lenses

Gerstenkorn: treatment and prediction

If, after a few days, the forming pus is not emptied by itself, only local heat treatment (red light) comes into question. The red light dries the bacterial heart and the pain is alleviated. The ophthalmologist also prescribes an antibiotic ointment or drops which reduces the swelling and eliminates the infection. Normally, the barley grain empties without any special occasion. You have to reckon with a resurgence. In the case of recurring barley grains one speaks in the medicine of Hordeolosis. A yeast cure is recommended as a precaution. Under no circumstances should chamomile be used as a home remedy for chamomile (a moist compress in chamomile tea), as triggering of extreme hypersensitivity is probable. Although chamomile has an anti-inflammatory effect, however, blotting with a moist compress, even if it contains chamomile, usually produces the opposite effect: the skin is softened and the pathogens can spread better, which is why extreme caution is required. Moisture envelopes are therefore counterproductive!

A tried and tested home remedy, not only with barley, is and still is a strong immune system. Therefore, the immune system needs to be strengthened by a balanced and vitamin-rich diet, so that you can keep fit!

The hail of grain

A hailstorm, also referred to as a chalazion in technical terms, can occur on the upper or lower eyelid due to clogging and subsequent inflammation of the sebaceous glands – a pear-like node under the skin can be seen. In most cases, a hailstorm is annoying, but harmless and not painful and forms itself back by itself. Apart from the cosmetic impairment, a hailstorm is to be considered as a harmless and benign one. Unless a regression occurs and complaints are triggered, treatment is necessary and, if necessary, a distance is recommended.

Cause of a hailstorm

A hailstorm can occur regardless of age and sex. Responsible for the formation of a hailstorm is a clogging of a sebaceous gland at the edge of the eyelids, whereby the sebum can not escape and develops over a longer period, approximately several weeks, to a firm nod under the eyelid. The surrounding tissue may become inflamed and the whole lid may even turn blue-violet and resemble a “violet”. Sectret back to the eyelid due to clogging of the sebaceous gland can occur spontaneously, but can also be influenced by other factors. Similar to acne, the sex hormones play a crucial role in sebum production and can contribute to the development of a hailstorm. Other inflammations in the eye can also promote development. These include:

  • Conjunctivitis
  • Crohn’s disease rosacea (copper rose)

Also, a lid tumor can hinder the sebum flow and be responsible for a hailstorm.

Symptoms and symptoms of a hailstorm

A hailstorm develops as a tough node rather slowly and causes no pain, only the cosmetic impairment can be given by a hailstorm. Sometimes the affected person also feels a feeling of pressure. A conjunctival involvement rarely occurs. A chalazion usually occurs singly and does not occur more per eyelid.

In general, the following actions are brought before the parties concerned:

  • feeling of pressure
  • external disturbing finding
  • Influencing the visual function

Hailstone treatment

In contrast to a bacterial infection, the healing of a hailstorm is more time-intensive, which is why one has to be patient in the treatment. Overall, however, the forecast is very good. With dry, warm envelopes and eyelids you can try to correct the secretion. Also find eye rinses in a hailstorm use. The healing process of a hailstorm can also support homoeopathic treatment options. These include:

  • lukewarm eye baths
  • Supports with various herbs
  • homeopathic drugs, such as Globuli Pyrogenium C7 or C9, which support the dissolution of the sebum and counteract the formation of pus, or Myristica C9, which promotes the eruption of the pus, thus providing for faster healing

The use of globules can supplement the conventional treatment, but should be discussed with a homeopath, doctor or pharmacist.

Usually a conservative therapy is sufficient, so that a hailstorm can reproduce itself within several weeks. If there is a suspicion of a malignant degeneration, or if the hailstorm presses so much on the eye that vision is impaired, surgery is recommended. This is done under local anesthesia and involves only minor risks. The hailstorn is opened and the tissue is vented via a small skin cut – it is important that the entire tissue is removed so that it can not form again. Particularly in children, rapid treatment is necessary when a hailstorm affects the eyesight since the visual function is of great importance for the learning process and the development of the brain. There is also the risk of children suffering from vision problems in the long term. In adults this is not the case, which is why the course is generally considered to be benign. Only in rare cases can a hail be a sign of another illness – if, for example, in spite of conservative therapy increase regularly at regular intervals hail grains. In this case further investigations must be carried out in order to rule out a malignant tumor as a cause.

Scientifically Proven: Polyneuropathy: forms and symptoms


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