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What is a Chalazion?

A chalazion is an oil gland which is clogged along the eyelid.  It makes a round bump on the eyelid, under the skin.  The eyelids have oil glands which are vertical inside the eyelid and have openings just behind each eyelash.  When these glands and/or their openings stop functioning and become clogged, all the oil will build up inside the eyelid causing a bump to appear in the eyelid or at the edge of the lid near the lashes.  This is a chalazion.

What is a Stye?

A stye or hordoleum is a chalazion which has become infected and is becoming an abscess more anteriorly in the eyelid.  It is usually very red and painful.

Treatment for a chalazion or stye

**most will resolve on their own, unless large or an infection sets in.

1. Warm compresses: Apply a wet, very warm washcloth to the eyelid. Ideally for 4 minutes. Some people will hard boil and egg and apply it for heat to the eyelid area because it stays warm longer.  Don’t use something so hot you burn your eyelid skin!  Eyelid masks which are heated in warm water also work very well.

Warm compresses are the best thing you can do.  If you can apply it 2-4 times per day.  The heat will hopefully open the oil glands and they can start to drain the oil/pus which is accumulating.

Do not attempt to squeeze or drain a stye, it will most likely worsen the infection and pain. If it opens on its own, that is fine.  Wipe away any drained material with clean cloth gently.

2. See your eye doctor.  Your doctor can prescribe medication for the infection and the inflamation.  This can be drops or ointment, or both.

3. If it is large, infected, or an abscess has formed, it will need surgical treatment and will most likely not resolve on its own.

Dr. Velotta usually does chalazion removal in office for adults.


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