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A chalazion, also commonly known as a lid cyst or meibomian cyst, is a slowly enlarging nodule in the eyelid above the lid margin.
They are formed by blockage of the meibomian glands that produce an oily substance present in tears.
Meibomian cysts are not harmful to the eye and will not cause any damage to your eyesight. However, swelling of the eyelid or watering can cause temporary blurring of vision. Patients may seek medical attention when a chalazion becomes unsightly or causes discomfort, or becomes inflamed and painful, due to infection.
These cysts can be associated with seborrhea and acne rosacea. Recurrent chalazion, particularly in the elderly patient, should prompt the practitioner to consider conditions masquerading as a chalazion such as sebaceous carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma.
Most of these cysts resolve spontaneously and the process can sometimes be aided by warm compresses and massage. Since these cysts are sterile inflammations, topical or systemic antibiotics are not needed. If a long-standing cyst becomes painful with redness of the overlying skin, this may suggest an infection that will require oral antibiotics.
If the cyst does not resolve spontaneously: a process that can take from weeks to several months, it can be removed surgically with a minor procedure carried out after injecting local anesthetic in the skin overlying the cyst.
A stye is an infection in the root of an eyelash. This swells and fills with pus and develops into a small lump on the edge of an eyelid (margin of lid). The eyelid becomes sore. The infection may spread along the eyelid and the whole lid may become red and inflamed.
A stye usually occurs for no apparent reason. The bacteria that causes the infection is the staphylococcus. This is a common bacterium that is often found on healthy skin. It usually does no harm, but sometimes it invades the skin to cause infections such as boils, styes, etc.
Most styes burst and the tiny amount of pus drains away leaving no further problem. Hot compresses may help to ease soreness and clear the pus. Hold a clean flannel that has been in hot water gently but firmly against the closed eye. Do this for about 10 minutes, 3-4 times a day (The water should be hot, but comfortable and not scalding). If the infection spreads along the lid, an oral antibiotic may be required.
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This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, part of Mubadala Healthcare, and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.
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