A stye, also known as a hordeolum, is a small, tender lump or pimple-like bump that develops on the eyelid. It is caused by an infection in the meibomian glands of the eyelids, usually by bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus. Styes typically appear as a red, swollen bump on the outer or inner eyelid and can be accompanied by pain, tenderness, and excessive tearing. Styes commonly affect those with meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), which is the chronic clogging and inflammation of the meibomian glands. Styes may resolve on their own within a few days to a week but in many cases, medical treatment is necessary. Standard treatments consist of warm compresses and antibiotics. However, these only treat the immediate infection, not the issue of underlying MGD. Now, the optometrists at Enclave Vision can offer OptiLight by Lumenis. The OptiLight is a light-based therapy that specifically targets the redness and inflammation in a stye, but also in MGD. More established or aggressive styes may still warrant antibiotic therapy. Once the stye is resolved, it is important to treat the underlying MGD to prevent recurrence of these lesions.
A chalazion presents as a firm, painless, immobile, roundish lump on the eyelid and may develop from a stye, but can also occur spontaneously. Chalazia are the result of stagnant material in the meibomian glands, which are small glands that line the upper and lower eyelids.
Traditionally, the removal of chalazia has involved injections into the eyelid or draining the material of the chalazion through a surgical incision. This is about as much fun as it sounds! Thankfully, OptiLight is an excellent treatment option for these lesions.