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Symptoms that need emergency care

What is a Chalazion?

The definition of a chalazion is a lump in the upper or lower eyelid that is caused by obstruction of the drainage duct of an oil gland within the eyelid.

What is the difference between a chalazion and a stye?

A stye is also a lump or cyst in the eyelid caused by obstruction of an eyelid gland. A stye is a plugged oil or sweat gland in the skin of the eyelid and usually resolves much more quickly than a chalazion. Like a chalazion, a stye may start out as an inflammation but can become infected as well.

  • Swelling of the gland may appear abruptly but more commonly develops gradually over weeks.
  • They occur more frequently on the upper lid, probably because there are more meibomian glands in the upper eyelid than in the lower eyelid.
  • A chalazion feels firm or hard to the touch and may enlarge to the size of a green pea. Occasionally, a chalazion is painful, particularly if it's very inflamed or infected.
  • The pain frequently is more pronounced when the chalazion first forms.
  • Drainage from the gland may cause irritation of the conjunctival and corneal surface of the eye.
  • The overlying or surrounding eyelid skin may be red. The palpebral conjunctiva (the tissue lining the back side of the eyelid) may also be swollen and red.
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Many patients notice that the bumps and lumps are recurring, with the original lump not settling on the eyelid. This causes some patients to have recurring swellings and infections, giving a history of recurrent stye.

Styes may not affect your vision or your eyes directly as is located in your eye lid and skin, but styes can obstruct vision when they grow to a large size and lower the lids or by pushing in the surface of your eyes by their position and effect vision. 

What Home Remedies Treat and Cure a Chalazion?

Removal Surgery

Stye removal surgery is simple and takes about 15 minutes. You may need to stay at the clinic for about 30 minutes after the procedure.

Surgery for removing stye involves the following:

  • The doctor will administer local anaesthesia and put anaesthetic drops in your eye
  • He will use a surgical clamp, known as a chalazion clamp, to grip the chalazion. This clamp has a circular opening that exposes the inner area of the eyelid
  • The surgeon will surgically incise the tissue and remove the content of the stye (The surgeon may also remove a tissue sample and send it to the lab for analysis) heat will then be applied to the incision
  • The surgeon will remove the clamp and apply pressure on the incision site
  • He will lastly apply antibiotics ointment on the area, then place an eye patch over the eye
  • The doctor will prescribe ointment and drops for use at home
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Ensure you leave your eye pad on for about six hours after the procedure. You may experience some discomfort, but it will subside within twelve hours.

You can take the regular pain medication to relieve the pain.

Ensure you use your prescribed eye drops for one month and the ointment every night in the first week. Avoid swimming and using contact lenses for at least two weeks.

You will have a follow-up appointment 2-8 weeks post surgery.

Surgical Removal Cost

The cost of stye removal treatment varies, depending on certain factors. The average cost of stye removal surgery is £350 per eye lid or per stye. If it is just one chalazion or stye the total cost will be £480. Stye removal costs typically covers an examination, consultation, removal, follow-up appointment and medication.

If you have a chalazion / stye, pterygium, skin tags or any irregularities on or around your eyelids a consultation at Optimal Vision will be happy to examine you and determine if you need a surgical or non-surgical approach. Call 020 7183 3725 to schedule an appointment with our eye doctor.

Dr Amir Mani - Specialist refractive surgeon

One of the most experienced refractive surgeons in London

Dr Mani has performed more than 20,000 ophthalmic procedures, including LASIK, LASEK, PRK, Femto Cataract, RLE, Lens ICL and Phakic IOL Surgery

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