Chalazion and stye (hordeolum) are infections of the edge of the eyelid. Ophthalmologists at Fort Worth Eye Associates treat a chalazion medically or surgically when indicated.
Chalazion and Hordeolum (Stye)
A chalazion is a less painful chronic infection on the inside edge of the eyelid (conjunctival side) affecting the Zeis or meibomian (oil-secreting) glands. Styes, or hordeola, are painful infected lesions on the edge of the eyelid (eyelash follicles) that come on quickly and eventually break open and drain.
Chalazion (Eyelid Cyst)
A chalazion is a specific type of lump in the upper or lower eyelid caused by blockage and inflammation of an oil gland (meibomian gland) in the eyelid. The eyelid glands discharge an oily, mucous substance over the eye for lubrication. The narrow gap through which the gland secretes its liquid can become clogged or the mucus can harden around the opening. When this occurs, the gland will clog up with its fluids, causing swelling and thickening of the gland walls. This in turn causes leakage of oil onto the eyelid itself, resulting in inflammation of both gland and eyelid. The inflammation and the enlargement are what is known as a chalazion.
Chalazia can occur in patients with blepharitis of the eyelid margin and form from chronically infected styes (hordeola) that scarred.
Most chalazions can be treated with a warm compress to the eyelid, promoting circulation of blood around the area and speeding up the healing process. After an initial examination, the doctor may prescribe an antibiotic drop or an ointment designed to be applied following the warm compress. If the problem persists, outpatient surgery can be performed to remove the eyelid cyst.
Chalazion Excision Surgery
A chalazion (cyst) may resolve itself with little to no treatment, including the use of warm compresses repeatedly. However, a chalazion may not be resolved that simply, and those who suffer from a cyst one time are more likely to get a cyst in the future. If the cyst does not go away by itself, or a patient suffers repeatedly, a doctor may decide to remove the cyst surgically by chalazion excision.
The surgical procedure to remove the chalazion will take place in the operating room under general anesthesia. Once the patient is asleep, a small incision will be made onto the underside of the eyelid. The inflamed tissue will then be removed from the eyelid. Once the tissue is removed, the doctor will stitch up the incision with dissolvable sutures.
Following the chalazion excision, ointment will be given to place either on or in the eyelid, depending on the site of the incision.
A stye is in reference to an external hordeola where the infection is from the eyelash follicles or tear glands at the eyelid margin. A chalazion or an internal hordeola arises from the conjunctival side where the meibomian glands are located.
Styes present as red bumps on the eyelid margins filled with yellow pus that swell and eventually break open and draw around 3 to 4 days.
If you would like to learn more about chalazions and hordeolums (stye), please call our Fort Worth office at 817-732-5593.