Chalazions and styes start out with similar symptoms and look alike. Many people get these two confused since they both can appear as a bump near the edge of the eyelid. The primary difference between the two is the cause.
A stye or hordeolum is a small, red, painful lump which often appears at the eyelid’s edge or under the eyelid and is usually caused by an infected eyelash root. It might look like a pimple. It often swells, sometimes affecting the entire eyelid.
A chalazion is a swollen bump on the eyelid that usually develops farther back on the eyelid than a stye. It is generally caused by a clogged oil gland. At first, you might not know you have a chalazion as there is little or no pain. But as it grows, your eyelid may get red, swollen, and sometimes tender to touch.
• a very painful red bump along the edge of the eyelid at the base of the eyelashes.
• usually a small pus spot at the centre of the bump
• feeling like something is in your eye
• having a scratchy feeling in the eye
• being sensitive to light
• crustiness along the eyelid margin
• tearing in that eye
When there are symptoms, they can include:
• a bump on the eyelid, sometimes becoming red and swollen Occasionally it can be tender
• rarely, an entirely swollen eyelid
• blurry vision, if the chalazion is large enough to press on the eyeball
Chalazions and styes usually go away on their own. A sty usually goes away in a week or two while chalazions generally take longer, disappearing after a month or more.
To ease the pain and help them heal:
• Use a clean, warm, wet compress on your eyelid for 5 to 10 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day
• Don’t try to pop it as it could spread the infection into your eyelid.
• Don’t use your contact lenses or eye makeup until they heal
If your stye doesn’t go away on its own, or is very painful, your doctor may:
• Give you antibiotics
• Drain the fluid
If your chalazion lasts longer than eight weeks, your doctor may:
• Drain the fluid
• Give you a corticosteroid shot in your eyelid to reduce the swelling
• Certain skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis or acne rosacea
• Presence of systemic conditions like diabetes
• Failing to completely remove eye makeup
• Using cosmetics that are old or contaminated
• Touching eyes with dirty hands
• Improper disinfection of contact lenses
• Previous styes or chalazions
It is important to visit your eye doctor to learn how keep your eyes healthy. For more information on caring for your eyes, you can visit our website at www.trinidadeyehospital.org.