Styes and chalazions are common eye conditions that develop around or on the eyelid. Although they are not considered an eye emergency, visiting an eye doctor to ensure the condition doesn’t worsen is essential. Often, the chronic inflammation may be caused by an infection, where medication may be the most effective treatment. As far as milder cases, the stye or chalazion will simply go away over time.
A stye occurs due to oils trapped inside the meibomian glands due to dirt or foreign substances either inside or around the upper and/or lower eyelids. The gradual buildup inside the eyelid creates a bump or stye that can lead to chronic inflammation or an eye infection.
Styes are much closer to the eyelid since a stye is an inflammatory infection of an eyelash follicle. Therefore, a red, sore lump would appear at the edge of the lid, and this can have immediate symptoms due to the close proximity & sensitivity.
A stye or hordeolum that fails to resolve and remains on the eye is called a chalazion. Often, a chalazion is non-infectious but can be removed with the assistance of an eye doctor or, in some cases, even surgery.
These two conditions are similar in that staying clean and hygienic can prevent recurrence. Also, they may develop from dry eye symptoms, so discuss with your local optometrist about how to reduce your dry eyes as well as to ensure your meibomian glands continue to excrete oils. Working with your eye doctor on treating your dry eye symptoms will also improve your visual comfort and reduce irritation.