Styes and chalazia are common conditions that form bumps on the outside or inside of the eyelid. Styes are characterized by a tender red lump, which is typically on the edge of the eyelid. If the stye develops on the inside of the lid, it is called a hordeolum. A chalazion is a lump in the eyelid that is rarely painful.
The cause and symptoms
Styes and chalazia are the consequence of bacteria buildup in an eyelash follicle or infection in an oil gland. As a stye develops, a reddish and painful bump will appear on the eyelid. Usually, a stye will swell for three days before draining and healing. In total, it takes a stye about one week to heal. Never lance or squeeze a stye. This can encourage additional infection and may cause it to take more time to heal.
A chalazion begins as a firm bump or cyst beneath the surface of the eyelid. In contrast to styes, chalazia don’t usually hurt. They grow slowly and can take a few months to heal fully. As it grows, you may experience swelling or inflammation in the infected area. In some cases, chalazia can get in the way of your vision.
You can usually treat both styes and chalazia at home. First, set aside 3-6 times each day to apply a warm compress to the infected area for 5-10 minutes. This will assist with the healing process and help relieve swelling and blockage caused by bacteria. Next, consider getting an over the counter treatment. Remember to let the stye or chalazion open, drain, and heal on its own. Stop wearing eye make up until the infected area is completely healed.
To prevent styes or chalazia, refrain from rubbing your eyes, wear protective eye wear, replace eye makeup every six months, and have regular eye appointments.
Schedule a consultation
If at home efforts do not seem to be healing your chalazion or stye, contact the Eye Care Institute to arrange an appointment. Our office number is (707) 546-9800. We look forward to helping you and addressing your questions. Don’t hesitate to call us today!