Stye and Chalazion

Stye and Chalazion

What is a stye?
A stye is an infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes. It resembles a ‘pimple’ on the eyelid and can grow on the inside or the outside of the lid.

Styes are caused by staphylococcal bacteria. This bacterium is often found in the nose, and it's easily transferred to the eye by rubbing first your nose, then your eye. While they produce no lasting damage, styes can be quite painful. They are not harmful to vision and they can occur at any age.

What is a chalazion?
A chalazion is a firm lump or a cyst under the skin of the eyelid. This is caused by inflammation of a blocked meibomian gland, usually on the upper eyelid.

What are the signs of stye?
Signs of Stye
• tenderness
• pain
• redness in the affected area.

As the stye grows, the eyelid becomes swollen and painful. Later symptoms include:
• Itching
• watering of the eye
• sensitivity to light discomfort when blinking.

A yellowish bump sometimes develops in the affected area. This can be found on the top, bottom, or any area pertaining to the eye. Most styes swell for about 3 days before they break open and drain. Styes usually heal in about one week.

What are the signs of chalazion?
The symptoms of chalazions differ from styes as they are usually painless.

Signs of a Chalazion
• Eyelid tenderness
• Sensitivity to light
• Increased tearing
• Heaviness of the eyelid

The tenderness is caused when the eyelid swells up. Chalazion tend to be larger than styes. A chalazion may eventually disappear on its own after a few months, though more often than not, some treatment is necessary.

Warm compress application may speed up the draining of the chalazion.

How do we treat styes?
While most styes will drain on their own, the application of a hot or warm compress are the most effective means of accelerating drainage. The warmth and dampness encourages the stye to drain. Just like any infection try not to touch it with your fingers. A compress can be made by putting hot (not boiling) water on a wash cloth, or by using room temperature water and a plastic heat pack. Warm compresses should be applied for 10—20 minutes, four (4) times a day. There is also a specialized topical ointment for styes, that may be prescribed. Styes may also cause a bruised feeling around the eye which is treated by application of a warm cloth to the eye.

With treatment, styes typically resolve within one week.

How do we treat chalazion?
The primary treatment for chalazion is application of warm compresses for 10 to 20 minutes at least 4 times a day. This may soften the hardened oils blocking the duct and promote drainage and healing.

Chalazion may be treated with any one or a combination of antibiotic or steroid drops prescribed by your healthcare provider.

There are occasions when surgical drainage is required.

Synergy Eye Care is well equipped and its doctors are well experienced in treating this disease using required procedures and /or surgeries with good results.


Disclaimer: Information published here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice. If you suspect that you have a health problem, please consult your doctor immediately

Expert Doctors

Dr. Subhash M Betharia

Ex Prof. & Head Oculoplasty (AIIMS)

MBBS, MD (AIIMS), MNAMS

Oculoplasty and Cosmetic

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MBBS, MD (AIIMS), DNB, FRCS (Eng)

Oculoplasty, Cataract and Refractive