In this article we’ve compared chalazion vs. stye. Although they may seem like they are related, chalazia and styes have different causes and treatments. It often takes a medical professional to determine whether a bump on the eyelid is a stye or a chalazion, but we’ve compiled some information about them both to help you identify their differences and learn about treatments.
What Is a Chalazion?
A chalazion is a swelling on the eyelid caused by a blocked gland. It is usually smaller than a stye, but both can have significant swelling and can be associated with redness and pain. Pain caused by Chalazia usually lasts 24-48 hours.
Chalazia usually form in the upper eyelid. They can also grow in the lower eyelid, but this is less common. You can get them on both eyes at once and they often go away and come back.
What Is a Stye?
A stye is a small lump that grows near your eyelashes. It looks like a pimple, but it’s red and painful. It can itch and burn.
It’s usually caused by bacteria that live on the eyelids. It can happen to anyone, but styes are most common in people with allergies, dry eyes, or other eye problems like blepharitis.
A stye will often disappear on its own within two weeks, but it can be treated with warm compresses, oral antibiotics, or sometimes even minor surgery to pop the bump and drain it of any pus inside.
What Causes Chalazia And Styes
As we age, our eyes tend to dry out, leading to problems like chalazion and stye. While these conditions are not uncommon among the elderly, they can also affect people of a younger age. If you notice that your eyelid is red and inflamed, you may be experiencing a stye or chalazion, and you should visit an eye specialist.
Styes are caused by bacteria that grow in your eyelashes. You can also get a stye if you touch your eyes with dirty hands. They can happen to anyone, but are most common in people with allergies, dry eyes, or other eye problems like blepharitis.
Chalazia on the other hand are rarely caused by an infection. The most common factors which can lead to the forming of a chalazion are:
- Skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis or acne rosacea
- Having chalazia before
None of these two conditions are usually that serious to require emergency eye care services but they can cause discomfort if left untreated.
Treatment Of Chalazion vs Stye
Depending on the size and severity, the treatment of a chalazion may include:
- Gentle eyelid massage and warm compresses.
- Steroid injections to decrease inflammation.
- Systemic tetracyclines or topical macrolide antibiotics.
- Small surgery when the chalazion doesn’t respond to medical care, is large and symptomatic, or interferes with vision.
The treatment of a stye is much easier as styes usually go away on their own.
- Warm compresses can help soften the fluids inside the stye, allowing it to drain.
- In some cases, when the stye doesn’t recede, it can be treated with oral antibiotics.
Benefits Of Seeing An Eye Doctor As Soon As Possible
- An eye doctor has the training and experience to recognize problems and issues that are non-threatening but still best to be treated as soon as possible.
- Eye doctors can prescribe medications and recommend treatments for symptoms that you may not even know were signs of a more serious condition.
- Seeing an eye doctor as soon as possible can help with the peace of mind of knowing that any issues have been identified and addressed.
- You can also visit your eye doctor for prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses, or to correct your vision through surgical procedures such as LASIK surgery.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms discussed in this article, it’s best to see your doctor to get a proper diagnosis and treatment. Although chalazia and styes are not usually serious, it can be difficult for a layperson to distinguish between the two. Thanks for reading!