Eye issues: Styes and chalazias

Styes and chalazias are bumps within or alongside the perimeters of the eyelids. They can cause discomfort or annoyance but rarely serious. Most settle on their own without requiring treatment.

  • A stye is an infection that results to a red, tender lump on the eyelid, usually along the edges. Once it develops within the eyelid, it is known as an internal hordeolum.
  • A chalazion is a bump in the eyelid. It appears the same as a stye but bigger and does not trigger any pain.

What are the possible causes of styes and chalazias?

Styes are brought about by a bacterial infection. In most instances, the bacteria grow in the follicle of an eyelash. A chalazion develops once an oil gland in the eyelid is clogged.

What are the indications?

A stye typically forms as a reddened lump that looks like a pimple along the perimeters of the eyelid.

Styes and chalazias

A stye typically forms as a reddened lump that looks like a pimple along the perimeters of the eyelid.

  • As it grows, the eyelid becomes painful and swollen and the eye might even water.
  • In most cases, it becomes swollen for about 3 days before rupturing and draining.
  • It usually heals in around a week.

A chalazion starts as a rigid lump or cyst beneath the skin of the eyelid.

  • This does not cause any pain or discomfort.
  • Grows in a slower manner than styes but it if grows large enough, it can disrupt vision.
  • The swelling and inflammation can spread to the adjacent eye area
  • It usually settles in a few months without treatment.


Treatment at home is enough for styes and chalazias.

  • Place a moist, warm compress for 5-10 minutes at 3-6 times throughout the day. This can promote faster healing of the area as well as opening blocked pores to allow drainage and start the healing process.
  • Utilize over-the-counter treatment such as ointments, solutions or medicated pads.
  • Avoid using eye makeup or contact lenses until the area has healed.
  • Allow the styes or chalazias to open on their own. It is not recommended to squeeze or open them.

If a stye does not settle with home treatment, a doctor must be consulted. There might be a need to use an antibiotic eye ointment or drops. In case styes or chalazias grow excessively large, the doctor will pierce them to allow drainage and healing.


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