Stye and Chalazion

What is a Stye or Chalazion?

A Stye (also called Hordeolum) is a bump caused by a bacterial infection blocking the oil-secreting gland on the upper or lower eyelid margin, resembling a pimple in appearance. Chalazia (plural for chalazion) are styes that are no longer infectious but filled with pus and blocked lipid secretions that normally help lubricate the eye but can no longer drain out.

What are Signs and Symptoms of Styes or Chalazia?

Signs and symptoms vary, but most commonly people experience a lump or swelling of the eyelid, tenderness or blurred vision.

What Causes a Chalazion or Stye?

Generally, the underlying issue to most chalazia or styes is chronic blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid margins) where the oil-secreting glands of the eyelids (called Meibomian glands) become too thick to be secreted. Leading to enlargement of the glands, causing further inflammation, ultimately leading to the formation of a pimple or lump in the eyelid margin.

Other causes include patients with certain skin types, such a Rosacea, which are more prone to blepharitis. Patients with a low diet of Omega-3 fatty acids.

How Is A Chalazion Treated?

Chalazia may be treated utilizing a combination of the methods including:

  • Gentle message to express the glandular secretions
  • Warm compresses for 5 to 10 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day
  • Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation
  • Antibiotic and/or steroid drops
  • Antibiotic pills (such as Doxycycline)
  • Surgical drainage (incision and drainage)

How Can I Prevent Styes or Chalazia?

Eyelid scrub including washing your eyelids daily with baby shampoo or cleansing wipes. Oral Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and daily warm compresses have been shown to decrease the likelihood of stye and chalazia development.

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The Fraser Eye Care Center Doctors have either authored or reviewed and approved this content.

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