Chalazions and styes are benign growths inside or on the eyelids.

A stye (hordeolum) is a very common abscess on the eyelid and is an infection at the root of the eyelashes. These are normally small, red painful lumps that grow from the base of your eyelash. Most styes are caused due to a bacterial infection. Styes can usually be tender to touch and can cause discomfort, swelling, itchiness and tearing. Anyone can get a stye at any age, however if you previously suffer from an eyelid disease like blepharitis, or suffer from skin conditions such as acne rosacea or seborrheic dermatitis you are at a higher risk.

A chalazion on the other hand is when a small lump or cyst develops inside the eyelid due to a blocked oil gland. Chalazions may sometimes initiate through a stye. Chalazions are usually pain less but as it grows your eye may become red swollen and may be tender to touch.

In any case, it is very important that you refrain from squeezing or popping the stye or chalazion; doing so could spread the infection into the eyelid. Do not wear eye makeup or contact lenses if you have a chalazion or stye.

The first line of action to take when treating a stye or a chalazion is to apply a warm compress. Soak a clean washcloth in hot water and hold it against the closed affected eyelid for 10-15 minutes at least 3-5 times a day. This will help unclog the blocked gland and allow it to open and drain. Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic for an infected stye. In some cases if the stye or chalazion affects the vision or does not go away your doctor may need to carry out surgery to drain the area using local anaesthetics. Your doctor will be able to give you best advice regarding this if needed.

If you need to be examined please contact The Eye Center on 021 35836713, where you will be attended to immediately.

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