WHAT IS THE STYE?
A stye (also called a hordeolum) is a small, red, painful lump that grows from the base of your eyelash or under the eyelid. Most styes are caused by a bacterial infection.
Picture 1: A stye is a red, sore lump near the edge of the eyelid.
There are two kinds of styes:
You can also get a stye if you have blepharitis. This is a condition that makes your eyelids at the base of the eyelashes red and swollen.
When you first get a stye, your eyelid is probably red and tender to the touch. Your eye may also feel sore and scratchy.
WHAT IS A CHALAZION?
A chalazion is a swollen bump on the eyelid. It happens when the eyelid’s oil gland clogs up. It may start as an internal hordeolum (stye). 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. If the chalazion gets large, it can press on your eye and cause blurry vision. Rarely, the whole eyelid might swell.
Picture 2:A chalazion is an enlargement of an oil-producing gland in the eyelid.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A STYE AND A CHALAZION?
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between a stye and a chalazion.
A stye is very painful. It often appears at the eyelid’s edge, usually caused by an infected eyelash root. It often swells, sometimes affecting the entire eyelid.
A chalazion is not usually painful. It is a bump that usually develops farther back on the eyelid than a stye. It is caused by a clogged oil gland. Rarely does it make the entire eyelid swell.
Stye symptoms can include:
Picture 3: A large chalazion may cause blurry vision.
A chalazion can develop and you might not see any symptoms. When there are symptoms, they can include:
Anyone can get a stye or chalazion. But you are even more likely to get one if you have:
Picture 4:Blepharitis increases the risk of developing a chalazion or stye.
Soak a clean washcloth in hot water and hold it to your eyelid for 10–15 minutes at a time, 3–5 times a day. Keep the cloth warm by soaking it in hot water often. For a chalazion, this warm compress helps the clogged oil gland to open and drain. You can help the gland clear itself by gently massaging around the area with your clean finger.
Your ophthalmologist may prescribe an antibiotic for an infected stye.
If your chalazion is very swollen, your ophthalmologist may give you a steroid shot (cortisone) to reduce the swelling.
If your stye or chalazion affects vision or does not go away, you may need to have it drained. This surgery is usually done in the doctor’s office using local anesthesia.
If a stye or chalazion keeps coming back time after time, your ophthalmologist may biopsy it. This is where a tiny piece of tissue is removed and studied. This helps your ophthalmologist check to see if there is a more serious eye problem.
Doing so could spread the infection into your eyelid. Do not wear eye makeup or contact lenses while you have a stye or chalazion.