What is a stye or chalazion?
A chalazion is a bump on the eyelid that forms when a meibomian gland becomes blocked. The meibomian glands are small glands located along the eyelid which produce oil that helps lubricate the surface of the eye. The bump is commonly called a stye.
Why do people develop a chalazion?
Often, a stye develops for no reason. In some cases, people develop a condition called blepharitis. This is the inflammation of the eyelid margin or rim of the eyelid. People who have blepharitis can often develop chalazia.
How are styes treated?
Most chalazia or styes heal on their own. Some may take months to clear, however. Certain treatments can assist with healing. Warm compresses applied over the affected eyelid can help the blockage clear. In addition, eyelid hygiene with scrubs to clean the eyelid margins can help with the underlying blepharitis. Antibiotics can be useful if an infection has developed. Steroid eye drops or ointments can also be used, but the patient must be monitored for any side effects. For persistent chalazia, surgical treatment may be considered.
Can chalazia be prevented?
Regular use of warm compresses and eyelid hygiene are recommended for people who have blepharitis and/or recurrent chalazia.