Styes and chalazions are small fluid-filled cysts that develop along the eyelid as a result of an infection or blocked oil gland. While these bumps do not usually lead to any serious complications, they may cause pain, swelling and tearing of the eye. Larger chalazions may gradually obstruct vision.
A stye appears on the eyelid as a small red bump, while a chalazion is similar but usually larger and not as painful. Styes usually heal within a week, while chalazions can take up to a few months.
Many styes and chalazions go away on their own with no need for treatment other than warm, wet compresses. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotic eye drops or recommend over-the-counter treatments for those that do not heal on their own or if there is concern of infection. In the event the stye does not resolve with conservative measures, then an in-office surgical procedure to remove the chalazion will be recommended. Typically this is performed on the inside of the eyelid so there will be no visible scarring after the procedure. Patients should avoid wearing makeup or contact lenses until after the stye or chalazion has healed.