Styes and chalazions are types of bumps that can appear on your eyelids. While they can look concerning, they aren’t usually a cause to worry. Your eye care professional can help you to treat each type of bump should one appear.
What Is a Stye?
A stye is a painful red bump that usually appears at the base of your eyelashes or beneath the eyelid. These are also called hordeolums. They are most often caused by a bacterial infection.
There are two types of styes:
- Internal Hordeolum – A stye that appears inside your eyelid. They usually occur when the oil-secreting glands in your eyelids become infected.
- External Hordeolum – A stye that appears at the base of your eyelash. These can look like pimples. They usually occur when the hair follicle that grows your eyelash becomes infected.
Styes begin as tender, red bumps that hurt when you press on them. They can also make your eye feel scratchy or sore.
What Is a Chalazion?
A chalazion looks like a swollen lump on your eyelid. These occur when the affected oil-producing gland clogs. You might not even realize you have one at first. They often cause very little pain, and sometimes cause no pain at all! This may change as the chalazion grows.
If a chalazion grows too large, it may press on your eye and cause blurry vision. Chalazions may rarely cause your whole eyelid to swell if they grow too large.
Is It a Stye or a Chalazion?
Styes and chalazions have different symptoms that can help you to tell them apart. These include:
- A stye is often very painful. A chalazion sometimes doesn’t hurt at all.
- A stye produces a red bump that often has a small pus spot in the middle. A chalazion produces a lump or swelling that is less pronounced than a stye.
- A chalazion sometimes makes your whole eyelid swell.
- A stye can make your eye feel scratchy, or like there’s something in your eye.
- A chalazion may produce blurry vision if it presses on your eyeball.
- A stye can make you sensitive to light.
- A stye may give you crustiness or tearing.