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A Stye is Not an Infection - Treatment Pearls

If you’ve ever had a painful, red, swollen bump on your eyelid, you’ve had a stye. The professional term for this is a chalazion (KA-LAZE’-EE-ON). The eyelid and even the upper cheek can become quite red and alarming. But unlike a cellulitis that can affect a large area of the eyelids, a chalazion is NOT an infection. Instead, it’s due to a blocked meibomian gland in the eyelid that the body then mistakes for a foreign invader, thus mounting a big inflammatory response.

Because it’s not an infection, stye creams, antibiotic eyedrops and even antibiotic pills won’t help it disappear or become less painful.

chalazion (stye) of upper eyelid

What does help? HEAT. A heat compress helps because it liquifies the thick sebum stuck in the eyelid gland and dilates the pores of the gland. And I’m always searching for the best eyelid compress and I’ve determined that the Optase Heat Mask is the best - its moist beads heat up readily in a microwave oven and it has a washable cover. The Optase Mask is also great for difficult dry eye symptoms, because well functioning meibomian glands are critical to creating a healthy tear film. In fact, intermittent use of a good heat mask is part of a complete dry eye regimen that can include our patented Dry Eye Relief supplement.

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