The swelling from a stye usually lasts about three days and then it eventually breaks opens and drains. The entire healing process lasts about 7 to 10 days and simple home treatment of warm compresses and cleaning the eyelid are usually all that are necessary.
A chalazion also usually only requires home treatment and most often will clear up on its own. The same home treatments used for a stye will help clear up a chalazion.
This is part of a series on styes and chalazia. Links to other articles may be found at the end of this article.
The best treatment for a stye or chalazion are warm compresses. The warm compresses bring the pus from a stye to the surface where it can drain away or dissolve. Warm compresses will also unclog the clogged oil-producing gland of a chalazion.
Wet a clean washcloth with warm water making sure that the water is not too hot. Wring out the cloth so it is damp, but not dripping and place it over your eye for 5 to 10 minutes. Do this 3 or 4 times a day.
You can also massage the area with clean hands to promote drainage. If massaging your eye is painful, discontinue it.
Clean Your Eyelid
Use a tear-free baby shampoo and mix it with some warm water and dip a cotton swab or clean washcloth in the solution and clean your eyelid. Do this every day until the stye or chalazion clears up. You can also use saline solution to clean your eyelid.
Do not wear eye makeup or contact lenses while you have a stye or chalazion.
Styes are infections and your ophthalmologist may prescribe an antibiotic to clear up the infection.
If a chalazion (a clogged oil gland) becomes extremely swollen, your ophthalmologist may give you a steroid shot (cortisone) to reduce the swelling.
Surgery to Drain a Stye or Chalazion
If the stye or chalazion is affecting your vision or does not go away with warm compresses or antibiotics in the case of styes, your ophthalmologist may need to drain the area. This is a simple procedure and is done in your doctor’s office using local anesthesia.
In addition, if you have recurrent styes or chalazions, your ophthalmologist may remove a small piece of tissue from the stye or chalazion to have it studied to determine if you have a more serious eye problem.
Do NOT squeeze or try to pop a stye or chalazion.
When to Call Your Doctor
Contact your doctor if your stye is:
- Gets bigger
- Becomes more painful
- Doesn’t clear up after a few days of home treatment
- Affects your vision
- Also see your doctor if you have recurring styes. They could be caused by an underlying condition.
Additional articles on styes and chalazia:
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