Top of the page
Styes and chalazia are lumps in or along the edge of an eyelid. They may be painful or annoying, but they are rarely serious. Most will go away on their own without treatment.
Styes and chalazia may be related to blepharitis, a common problem that causes inflammation of the eyelids.
Styes are caused by a bacterial infection. Usually the bacteria grow in the root (follicle) of an eyelash. An internal hordeolum is caused by infection in one of the tiny oil glands inside the eyelid.
A chalazion forms when an oil gland in the eyelid becomes blocked. If an internal hordeolum doesn't drain and heal, it can turn into a chalazion.
A stye usually starts as a red bump that looks like a pimple along the edge of the eyelid.
A chalazion starts as a firm lump or cyst under the skin of the eyelid.
Doctors diagnose these problems by closely examining the eyelid. It may be hard to tell the difference between a stye and a chalazion. If there is a hard lump inside the eyelid, the doctor will probably diagnose it as a chalazion.
Home treatment is all that is needed for most styes and chalazia.
If a stye is not getting better with home treatment, talk to your doctor. You may need a prescription for antibiotic eye ointment or eyedrops. You may need to take antibiotic pills if infection has spread to the eyelid or eye.
If a stye gets very large, the doctor may need to pierce (lance) it so it can drain and heal. Do not try to lance it yourself.
If a chalazion does not go away or if it gets worse, a doctor may recommend an injection of steroid medicine or surgery to remove it.
Current as ofJuly 17, 2018
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family MedicineAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineChristopher Joseph Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
Current as of: July 17, 2018
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Christopher Joseph Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.