Chalazion and stye are two eyelid conditions that look similar but have some differences. Understanding the difference between both can help you figure out which one you may have.
A chalazion is a bump on your eyelid that develops when there is a blockage in the oil glands. On the other hand, stye develops at the start of eyelashes or under your eyelid due to a bacterial infection.
Let’s explore the symptoms of chalazion and stye to help you differentiate between these conditions and discuss the available treatments for both styes and chalazia (plural of chalazion).
Chalazion Vs. Stye Symptoms
Both chalazion and stay cause a bump on the eyelid that looks red and swollen, making it hard to tell the two conditions apart. However, there are some differences between the bump caused by chalazion and stye.
Style symptoms can include:
- A bump on the eyelid that appears like a pimple.
- Scratchy feelings in the eyes
- Crustiness along the margin of the eyelid
- A small spot at the center of the bump
- Sensitivity to light
- Tearing in the affected eye
- The sensation of having something in your eye
- The swelling goes away after three days
On the other hand, the symptoms of chalazion include:
- A bump that is firmer than the bump from a stye
- Blurry vision if chalazia are large enough to press on the eyeball.
- Swelling of a larger area around the eye.
Chalazion Vs. Stye Causes
A chalazion occurs when there is a blockage in one of the oil glands in the eyelid that moisturizes the eye. Some of the risk factors for chalazion include acne rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, viral infections, and blepharitis.
On the other hand, styes are most commonly caused by bacterial infection. An external stye (a stye that appears at the base of the eyelash) is usually caused by an infection in the hair follicles of the eyelash, while an internal stye (a stye that appears inside the eyelid) is usually caused by an infection in the oil gland from your eyelid.
Treatment of Chalazion and Stye
A chalazion and a stye have similar treatments; however, not all treatments work for both conditions. For instance, a stye may respond well to antibiotics, but a chalazion doesn’t improve with antibiotic medications. Moreover, gentle massage a few times a day can help open the blocked oil glands and help improve chalazion, but it is recommended to avoid squeezing or even touching your eyelid with a stye. An eyelid containing stye can be cleaned with OTC products like stye ointments, medicated pads, and eyewash products, but a chalazion cannot.
Treatment options that are beneficial for both chalazion and stye include:
- Warm Compress. Application of a warm compress daily for at least 10 to 15 minutes can help promote faster healing of both a stye and a chalazion. Apply a clean washcloth soaked in the hot water on the eyelid, or get an eye mask that can be heated.
- Steroid Shots. Steroid shots can significantly reduce the eyelid swelling caused by both stye and a chalazion.
- Surgery. An ophthalmologist can surgically drain a stye or a chalazion that is getting in the way of your vision. If a chalazion or a stye keeps coming back, an ophthalmologist can perform a biopsy (taking a small sample of tissues from styes or chalazia and sending them to the lab) to rule out serious problems like sebaceous gland carcinoma.
Chalazion Treatment in Miramar, FL
Whether you have a chalazion or a stye, it’s important to seek medical attention timely to protect your eye health and vision. At Miramar Eye Institute, our highly trained and board-certified eye doctor, Dr. Karp, regularly diagnoses and treats a comprehensive range of conditions affecting eyes and eyelids to maintain the eye health and vision of our patients.