Fri, Jan 23, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Late-night snacks blamed for styes

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

While fried snacks are a popular choice for late-night supper, they could cause young children to be more susceptible to eye styes, a Shu-Tien Urology Ophthalmology Clinic doctor said yesterday, highlighting the case of a two-year-old girl who has repeatedly had the condition.

An eye stye is a small, painful lump on the inside or outside of the eyelid that is caused by a blocked oil gland.

Department of Ophthalmology director Yen Min-fang (顏敏芳) said the girl, surnamed Chen (陳), had suffered styes in both eyes multiple times, causing her eyelids to be red and swollen most of the time.

“Her parents said they often stay up late eating fried snacks or high-calorie pastries and their daughter always joins them,” the ophthalmologist said.

Yen said that while styes are mainly contingent on a person’s physical condition, unhealthy habits such as frequent eye rubbing, constant late nights and excessive consumption of deep-fried foods can increase the risk of the condition developing.

A large proportion of eye stye patients are aged from two to seven years old, with the youngest being about one year old, she said.

“Children today are addicted to foods that are high in fat, and the recent spate of tainted cooking oil scares have only raised more health concerns,” Yen said.

Unless parents take action to change their dietary habits that could overly stimulate sebum secretion, increasing the risk of styes, children will increasingly continue to suffer from the condition, she added.

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