A chalazion, or stye, appears as a swollen bump on your eyelid. They arise from either an infection at the base the eyelash (stye or hordeolum) or from blocked oil glands along the eyelid (chalazion). They are usually red and sometimes tender to touch. Others may have a small white spot in the center or cause the entire eyelid to appear swollen.

Although a stye or chalazion can occur in anyone, several conditions can make them more likely to occur including:

  • Blepharitis (eyelid inflammation)
  • Rosacea
  • Diabetes

A chalazion or stye may develop over days to weeks and can sometimes resolve spontaneously.


Warm compresses with gentle pressure to the eyelid are the mainstay of treatment for a chalazion or stye. These should be applied several times daily. The heat of the compress will help drainage of oil from the inflamed glands. In addition, topical antibiotics can also be effective.

If your chalazion or stye fails to resolve to traditional therapy, it can be removed surgically in the office. This procedure takes about 10 minutes and is performed using local anesthesia. A clamp is applied and a small incision is made on the inside of the eyelid. The contents and wall of the chalazion are then removed.

After surgery, you will be prescribed a topical ointment to prevent infection and reduce swelling at the surgical site. You might notice some swelling or bruising around your eye. The surgical site may also leak a reddish fluid for a few days.

Stye Chalazion

Using moist heat on the surgery site can help the wound to drain and reduce the chance of the chalazion or stye from reoccurring.

For two weeks following surgery, you will want to avoid:

  • rubbing or touching your eyes
  • wearing contact lenses
  • getting water in your eyes when showering
  • swimming
  • wearing makeup

Multiple treatments are often necessary. At the time of your consultation, Dr. Munroe will review all treatment options with you.