Chalazions & Styes

A chalazion [kuh-lay-zee-uhn] is a benign eyelid cyst that is either skin-coloured and hard to the touch, or red and swollen. Chalazions are meibomian cysts; the meibomian glands make the lipid in your tears that lubricates the eye and prevents dry eye/evaporation. These oil glands can get blocked, which causes an inflammation – a chalazion.

Chalazions are often mistaken for styes. A stye is a painful red abscess filled with pus, and is often caused by a bacterial infection at the root of an eyelash.

Sometimes, chalazions and styes can go away on their own, by being treated with the application of a warm compress to the affected eyelid; but if they are causing distress or are proving stubborn, chalazions and styes can be surgically drained under local anaesthetic in a simple procedure known as incision and curettage. The surgical incision is made on the inside of the eyelid, so any scar will be hidden from view. This procedure can be completed on the same day as your consultation.

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