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Stye and chalazion, here is how to distinguish and treat them

February 1, 2019

Both are growths that form on the palpebra, either because of an infection or a cyst, and can be very annoying. Both the stye and the chalazion are fairly easy to recognize but, depending on their severity, they need to be treated very specifically. Together with Dr. Alessandra Di Maria, referent of diseases of the orbit, eyelids and tearways of the Humanitas Eye Clinic, we have seen how to treat these two disorders.


Stye and Chalazion : What are the differences?

While the stye is often caused by a bacterial staphylococcal infection (often occurs in the case of blepharitis, a chronic inflammation of the eyelid), the chalazion may depend on either constitutional predisposition and stress, or a diet rich in fat or diseases of the intestinal tract.

To distinguish them, a simple eye examination is enough: the specialist will be able to identify them with the objective examination.

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Pharmacological or surgical treatment?

The stye and chalazion should not be stimulated or touched, nor should they be pressed in an attempt to drain them.

The doctor’s advice is to gently cleanse the area with disinfectant solutions especially for the eyes and moisten them with sterile solutions, then do warm-humid compresses (especially in the case of calazi) to open the occluded and inflamed tear ducts. It is also good to avoid eye make-up and contact lenses completely. The risk is to develop corneal infections.

The stye usually disappears alone after a few days. To reduce the infection otherwise you can apply a local antibiotic, such as erythromycin.

For chalazion on the other hand, the therapy involves the application of specific eye drops, antibiotics or cortisone based, so as to deflate and facilitate the exit of the purulent material. If the situation is more compromised, surgery is performed, removing the gland that generated the chalazion.

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