Overview: Chalazion (Stye)
A chalazion or stye is a non-cancerous, slow developing lump that forms on the eyelid. It is caused by a blockage within the eyelid’s oil glands. Patients with blepharitis or rosacea are at higher risk for developing recurrent chalazia. The lump can be painful or painless. Rarely, a chalazion that recurs in the same location can be a sign of an underlying malignancy.
A chalazion or stye is diagnosed with a complete eye exam, with special attention to the eyelids. An evaluation by an ophthalmologist is helpful to ensure no worrisome findings.
Fortunately most chalazions resolve with conservative management including warm compress, eyelid massage, and a mild steroid eye drop. For stubborn cases, options include a steroid injection into the lesion or an in-office surgical removal. Chalazion excisions are almost always covered by insurance. The majority of patients recover fully with no remaining signs of the chalazion.