Styes and Chalazions

Styes and chalazions are described as lumps that develop inside the eyelid or along its edge. These might be annoying or painful but are not considered to be a very serious medical condition. In most cases, they disappear on their own without any intervention. 


A chalazion (a small lump) is basically a non-infectious obstruction in a meibomian gland of your eyelid. This is an oil-producing gland that becomes enlarged. Further the opening of the gland is blocked with oil.

The result is extravasation of a undesirable lipid substance in the soft tissues of your eyelid along with secondary granulomatous inflammation. Some of the causes of chalazions could be acne rosacea, meibomian gland dysfunction.

Styes are defined as infections that cause the appearance of a red tender lump on your eyelid. You may notice that styes usually tend to form along the eyelid edge. In cases where a stye develops inside the eyelid rather than along its edge, it is known as an internal hordeolum.

Bacterial infection is the primary cause of a sty. The bacteria typically grow in the follicle or root of your eyelash. On the other hand, the cause of an internal hordeolum is an infection in a tiny oil gland inside your eyelid.


The initial symptoms of styes include redness and tenderness in the eyelid’s affected area. There is also some itchiness and irritation in the eye. Other sty symptoms include the following:

• Development of a red-colored bump along the eyelid edge (eyelash base), generally accompanied by a tiny puss spot
• Visible crusting on the margin of the eyelid
• Light sensitivity
• A constant feeling that there is something inside your eye
• Tearing

Large chalazions may blur your vision. 25% of chalazions may not have any symptoms at all and may disappear without requiring treatment. At times though, a chalazion may turn red, tender, and swollen, bringing up the need for treatment options if it becomes too much of an annoyance.


Styes and chalazions can be treated at home with the help of a warm compression. You simply need to moisten a washcloth (make sure it is clean) using warm water. This should be held gentle against your eye for about five minutes multiple times in a day. You may need to do this for several days in order to see results.

Warm compression encourages a chalazion or stye to open up a channel for drainage, allowing pus to release and restore normal drainage. It is important to keep changing the washcloth often, especially when the stye is draining.

Over-the-counter treatments may also be used for styes and chalazions. You could apply a solution, ointment, or even medicated pads to treat styes or chalazions. Doctors recommend that both chalazions and styes should be allowed to open up on its own without any forced squeezing.

You should also avoid putting on eye makeup or wearing of contact lenses until the eye has healed completely. In case the stye or chalazion does not get better with the home treatment, it is best to consult a doctor.


Contact us If you have a stye or chalazion that won’t go away. With the help of Dr. Jeffrey Joseph, you can find relief and live comfortably.