Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was first discovered in 1961 and is an infectious bacterium that is resistant to some common antibiotics, including methicillin, amoxicillin, penicillin and oxacillin. MRSA is spread by contact with another person with MRSA on their skin or objects contaminated by the bacteria.
MRSA infections are most common among hospital patients and the elderly with weak immune systems. Another type of MRSA called community-associated MRSA, or CA-MRSA, has become more common since MRSA was originally discovered. CA-MRSA occurs in non-patients and otherwise healthy people.
MRSA can affect different parts of the body, including the skin and eyes. The most common symptom of MRSA of the eye is the formation of a sty along the edge of the eyelid.
A sty is an infection that results in a tender red lump along the edge of an eyelid. The bacteria usually grow in the root, or follicle, of an eyelash. The eyelid will become swollen and more painful as the sty grows. The eye may also water.
Later symptoms can include further swelling, discomfort while blinking and an increased sensitivity to light. Styes will commonly have a yellowish spot at the centre of the lump that grows as pus expands in the infected area.
The sty will swell for a few days before it breaks open and drains. Most styes swell for around three days and heal in about a week.