Is It a Chalazion or a Stye (Hordeolum)?
What’s the difference between a chalazion and a stye? The two are often confused, but differ slightly. Both are red lumps on the eyelid near the eyelashes, but whereas a chalazion is (usually) painless, and caused by a blocked oil gland duct, a stye is sore and caused by an infected eyelash follicle.
Styes are more common, but harmless. Only rarely do they spread to other eyelashes.
A chalazion – sometimes a complication of stye – can be more serious. A large chalazion can cause astigmatism if it presses on the cornea. In rare cases, it can also be caused by skin cancer blocking the oil gland. This type of chalazion often re-occurs, and Dr. Bansal may suggest a biopsy.
Both styes and chalazions often go away on their own, but that can take a month or longer.
Treatment, however, is the same for both: Apply a warm washcloth to the affected eye for five to ten minutes, three or four times a day. The heat will soften the oil blocking the duct, allowing the chalazion to drain and heal. Warm compresses will also force styes to rupture, providing relief and allowing them to heal. In some cases, Dr. Bansal may prescribe antibiotic ointments to speed healing.
If large chalazions do not respond to this treatment, simple surgical incision or removal may be required. In some cases, however, chalazions respond well to steroid injection. Dr. Bansal can properly diagnose your condition and discuss treatments. Please call 1.800.527.3745 to schedule your appointment today.