A stye or chalazion is a lump of the eyelid that is caused by chalazion symptoms when an oil gland in the eyelid becomes blocked. It is an obstruction of the drainage duct of an oil gland, which is within the upper and lower eyelids. The condition may be soft and fluid or it can be firmer. It can increase in size within weeks and become warm, red or painful.

The gland that is involved in the formation of chalazion symptoms is a modified oil gland, known as a meibomian gland, which is within the eye lid. There are thirty to forty of these glands in each of the upper and lower eye lids. The walls of the glands will thicken and produce a thick liquid secretion that gets discharged into the tear film of the eye in a mixture of oil and mucus, called sebum. The narrow opening in which the meibomian gland secretes its material can become clogged as the opening is narrowed or the liquid that is near the opening is hardened, causing inflammation within the gland and eyelid, which are symptoms of an eye stye.  This back up of material will cause the gland to secrete and swell. The liquid produced by the glands lubricate the eye surface and the tiny openings of each of these oil or sebaceous glands are just in back of the eye lid lashes.

When a gland becomes blocked, it can get larger and cause a lump. If a chalazia gets large enough, it may affect your vision. The stye symptoms include inflammation and swelling that can spread to an area around the eye and will generally go away without treatment. Other symptoms are: eyelid tenderness, increased tearing, painful swelling on eyelid and sensitivity to light. A doctor can diagnose these symptoms by closely examining the eyelid. If there is a hard lump, it is usually a chalazion, not a sty. While a sty is also a lump in the eyelid also caused by an obstruction of an oil gland, it is an infection. A chalazion or stye is not an infection of the eyelid, but rather an inflammation.

To treat stye symptoms, you should apply wet, warm compresses for five to ten minutes, three to six times daily. These compresses will usually help heal the area faster and may help open the blocked pore so it can drain and begin to heal. There are over the counter treatments to help to relieve symptoms. You can purchase a solution, such as Bausch or Lomb Eye Wash, try an ointment, such as Sty, or go with medicated pads, as Ocusoft Lid Scrub. You should not squeeze or open the chalazion. When you experience these symptoms, do not wear eye makeup or contact lenses until the area is healed. If the chalazion gets larger, it may need to be removed by surgery, which is usually done under the eyelid to avois scars. Chalazion symptoms will require antibiotic eye drops prior to and after surgery. To prevent their symptoms, you should keep your eyelids cleaned to prevent a reoccurrence.

You can clean the eyelash area with baby shampoo to help reduce clogging of the eye lid ducts and eliminate chalazion symptoms.

Learn more the treatment of an eye stye:

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