A stye is an infection of the eyelash follicle. A stye develops usually on the edge of the eyelid. A chalazion can appear under the eyelid, on the eyelid or at the lid margin.
Some chalazia require no treatment and will disappear without any treatment. Sometimes, however, they can become red, tender and swollen.
The surrounding lid can become painful and swollen. The clogged gland does not allow the secretions to come out. This causes the fluid and secretions to “back up” similar to a clogged drain in a sink. If too large, it can push on the cornea and cause distortion and blurry vision.
Treatment of Chalazion
Chalazia are treated initially with warm compresses. This helps to clean and open the clogged gland. To do this, soak a clean washcloth in hot water (without burning yourself) and apply it to the lid with pressure for approximately five minutes. In order to open it up, there must be pressure, moisture and heat. This should be repeated several times a day.
An ophthalmologist may prescribe antibiotic or steroid drops or ointment if the chalazion and the surrounding lid appear inflammed or infected.
If a chalazion does not respond adequately to the compresses further intervention may be needed. A steroid injection can reduce the inflammation. It may need to be drained surgically. This is done under local anesthesia in our minor procedure surgical suite. The anesthetic is applied with an injection into the eyelid. Incision and drainage of the chalazion requires no stitches.
A chalazion usually responds well to treatment. Some people suffer from recurrences.
Good lid hygiene and daily warm soaks can prevent recurrences. Rarely, a biopsy may be taken to rule out other pathology. If you would like a professional examination, please call our office for an appointment.