Stye - Complications 

Complications of a stye 

Styes usually get better without treatment. But sometimes they can cause complications which are rarely serious.

Chalazion (meibomian cyst)

A long-term stye on the inside of your eyelid (internal stye) can develop into a chalazion. Chalazions, also called meibomian cysts, can develop if one of the glands on your eyelid becomes blocked.

These cysts are usually painless unless they become infected. If they do, you may need to take antibiotics (medication to treat a bacterial infection).

Applying a warm compress (a cloth warmed with hot water) to the cyst should help bring it down, although most cysts disappear by themselves.

If a cyst doesn't disappear, it can be removed using a simple surgical procedure carried out under local anaesthetic (where the affected area is numbed).

Preseptal cellulitis

If the infection that caused your stye spreads to the tissues around your eye it can cause preseptal cellulitis.

Preseptal cellulitis, also known as periorbital cellulitis, is inflammation (redness and swelling) in the layers of skin around your eye. It can make your eyelids swollen and red and can be treated with antibiotics.

Read more about other eyelid problems.


Page last reviewed: 09/07/2014

Next review due: 09/07/2016

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Eyelid problems

Causes of common eyelid problems, such as swollen eyelids, gritty, itchy or flaky eyelids, and droopy eyelids