Styes and Chalazions

A stye (also known as “sty” or “hodeolum”) is a reddish lump on the eyelid that is filled with pus and inflammatory cells. This occurs when an oil gland or hair follicle becomes blocked and infected. It is much like a pimple, and can be tender and painful to touch. Styes usually heal in about one week. However if it is persistent and untreated, it may continue to grow into a chalazion. A chalazion is similar to a stye in that it occurs in much the same way. However the difference is that chalazions are usually larger and may not hurt. If left untreated, a chalazion may take a few months to heal.  
stye and chalazion

If you are worried about a stye or chalazion, call (07) 3345 3383 to book a comprehensive assessment.

Signs of a Stye or Chalazion

  • Eyelid swelling
  • Yellowish discharge
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Feeling like there’s something in the eye / or a gritty feeling
  • Watery eye
  • A crust that forms on the edge of the eyelid
Asian man suffering watery eye

What Causes it?

Styes are caused by a bacterial infection. Usually the bacteria grows in the root (follicle) of an eyelash and results in an infection in one of the oil glands inside the eyelid. A chalazion forms when an oil gland in the eyelid becomes blocked. If an internal stye doesn’t drain and heal, it can turn into a chalazion.

How do You Know if You Have a Stye or Chalazion?

Optometrists can diagnose these problems by closely examining the eyelid and oil glands inside the eyelid. We can also use slit lamp cameras to monitor its growth/recovery.

How to Treat Styes and Chalazions

If a stye is not getting better, book an appointment to see your optometrist. Sometimes you may need a prescription for antibiotic eye ointment, eyedrops, or oral tablets.

Intense Pulse Light (IPL) Therapy

IPL brings longer lasting relief to the eyes and remains the most effective treatment currently available for dry eyes.


A shorter-term treatment to soften and unblock oil glands around the eyes.

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding styes and chalazions.

Call us on 07 3345 3383 or book online today!