A chalazion (may also be called a stye) is a cyst or lump on the eyelid. It is caused by a blockage of the oil glands in the eyelid which produce the oily part of the tear film to lubricate your eyes.
A chalazion can occur in any part of the eyelid. Good eyelid hygiene, as described below, can help prevent the recurrence of styes.
You may notice a lump inside or outside your eyelid, the lid may be red, tender or swollen. Occasionally the lump may discharge. The condition may resolve itself or require some medical treatment. Your doctor will advise you to apply warm compresses and gentle massage to the eyelid with a warm flannel/facewasher. This helps to unblock the gland and drain the cyst. Cleaning he eyelid twice a day with some water and baby shampoo with a cotton bud helps unblock the oil glands.
If the lump persists for a few weeks despite the treatment, it may require surgical removal or could be left alone if it is not cosmetically bothering and symptomless. Surgical removal is a minor procedure carried out in the doctor’s room under local anaesthetic.
Most of the chalazia/styes do not cause any major problems, but in rare situations they can get infected which might need treatment with oral or intravenous antibiotics.