Eyelid Conditions

A Chalazion or Meibomian Cyst is a small lump or swelling in the upper or lower eyelids as a result of a blockage of the oil glands (Meibomian glands). The trapped oil secretions cause an inflammatory reaction, there are no bacteria involved, however; if left untreated an infection can develop. If a Chalazion is small it may resolve on its own. Your surgeon will recommend the best treatment for you.


  • Warm compresses to the affected eye – Use a clean washcloth soaked in hot water (as hot as you can tolerate without burning the skin) and apply it to the eyelid. Repeat this treatment 5 times per day.
  • Surgical drainage – Surgical drainage is the most effective method to relieve a Chalazion. This can be done in our rooms using local anaesthetic. Antibiotic ointment is applied after the procedure.
  • Steriods and long term antibiotics are occasionally used for recurring Chalazion.

A Stye and a Chalazion are often confused as the same thing as they look similar. A stye is, however, an infection of the eyelash follicle forming a red sore lump on the edge of the eyelid. Most styes will clear in a couple of days even if treatment is not received, however; they can spread to infect other eyelash follicles, and rarely the entire eyelid can be affected.

It is important not to rub, press or squeeze the stye as you may risk spreading the infection.

Stye Treatment

  • Warm compresses to the affected eye – Use a clean washcloth soaked in hot water (as hot as you can tolerate without burning the skin) and apply it to the eyelid. Apply for 10 minutes and repeat this treatment 5 times per day. Remember styes are infectious so always wash your hands after applying the compress and wash the washcloth separately to other household items.
  • Antibiotics may be prescribed if the stye does not resolve on its own.

Ectropion is the outward turning or drooping of the lower eyelid. This results usually from a loss of muscle tone or scarring/sun damage and is most commonly due to ageing and gravity. Symptoms include watering of the eye, redness, eye irritation, crusting discharge.

macro shot of man with ectropion

Entropion is the inward turning of either lower or upper eyelid, resulting in the eyelashes rubbing against the eye causing pain, redness and irritation. If left untreated it can result in scarring, corneal ulcer and infection may develop.

close up of eye with Entropion


Both Ectropion and Entropion may involve surgery to return the eyelid to its normal position. As with any surgery, there are risks that will be discussed with you by your surgeon.

The term blepharitis is used when the skin of the eyelids becomes inflamed over a long period (chronic), which usually includes the portion of the eyelid where the eyelashes grow. The inflammation usually involves the oil glands near the base of the eyelashes as they malfunction and bacterial growth can then occur. Blepharitis is the most common disorder of the eye and is often the underlying reason for eye discomfort, redness and tearing. Other symptoms that may be experienced include; burning, itching, light sensitivity and an irritating, sandy, gritty sensation that is worse when you awake.


Blepharitis is a chronic condition for which there is no cure and requires longterm treatment to keep it under control. Self-care using warm compresses (using a washcloth or cotton ball in water as warm as the eyelids can stand), eyelid massage and lid scrubs (with a mild cleaner such as baby shampoo) are the most common treatment. Antibiotic and/or corticosteroid medications may also be necessary.

close up of eyelid with blepharo conjunctivitis