Chalazion — the Stye in the Eyelid

OK, this morning you woke up, pried your eyelids open, and noticed — what? — a lump on your eyelid. Don’t sweat it; you most likely have a chalazion. That’s a scary word for eyelid stye.

There are different ways to address chalazions and our team at Central Valley Eye Medical is experienced with all the options.

What is a chalazion?

When it comes to lumps on your eyelids, chalazion are the most common. They show up as a small swelling or lump on the eyelid, usually the upper eyelid.

What causes a chalazion?

Glands are the culprits behind your stye. You have glands throughout your body doing all sorts of important tasks. Glands make things that your cells, tissues, and organs need to work properly. The meibomian glands can be found in your upper and lower eyelids and their job is to make oil that mixes with tears to continually moisten and protect your eyes. There are just under 100 meibomian glands in the eyelids, located near the eyelashes. When the duct that drains the gland is blocked, the fluid becomes backed up inside the gland and forms a chalazion.

Symptoms of a chalazion

  • A bump or lump in the upper or lower eyelid
  • Tenderness of the eyelid
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Excessive tearing
  • Blurry vision
  • Blepharitis
  • Astigmatism

How is a stye treated?

A chalazion will usually resolve itself, but they can take their sweet time doing so. The process can take months, so patience is a virtue. Our eye doctors can advise you on methods to hasten their demise at home, or, in more difficult situations, can provide a couple treatment options.

These are the typical treatments for a chalazion:

  • Applying a warm compress four times daily for 10-15 minutes
  • Applying antibiotic ointment
  • Steroid injections
  • Surgical drainage

If you have a stye that isn’t going away as fast as you would like, give us a call at Central Valley Eye Medical Group, (800) 244-9907.

Posted in: Eye Conditions


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