Styes and chalazia (say "kuh-LAY-zee-uh") are both conditions that can cause swelling of the eyelid.
A stye is an infection in the root of an eyelash. The infection causes a tender red lump on the edge of the eyelid. The infection can spread until the whole eyelid becomes red and inflamed. Styes usually break open, and a tiny amount of pus drains. They usually clear up on their own in about a week, but they sometimes need treatment with antibiotics.
A chalazion is a lump or cyst in the eyelid (chalazion is singular; chalazia is plural). It is caused by swelling and inflammation of deep oil glands inside the eyelid. Chalazia are usually not infected. They can take a few months to heal.
If a chalazion becomes more swollen and painful or does not go away, you may need to have it drained by your doctor.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: March 3, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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