Chalazion and Styes

The best way to tell the difference between a stye and a chalazion is to notice where the bump is. A stye usually forms along the outer rim of the eyelid, though sometimes it can form on the inner rim. A stye can cause the eyelid to become swollen, even torn. It’s also very tender to the touch and usually is red and irritated. If the bump is on the underside of the eyelid, or behind the eyelashes, or midway up the eyelid, it’s probably a chalazion. This type of bump is more likely to form on the upper eyelid.


What is a Stye?

A stye 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.

There are two kinds of styes:

  • External: A stye that begins at the base of your eyelash. Most are caused by an infection in the hair follicle. It might look like a pimple.
  • Internal: A stye inside your eyelid. Most are caused by an infection in an oil-producing gland in your eyelid.

You can also get a stye if you have blepharitis. This 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.

Stye Symptoms

  • A very painful red bump along the edge of the eyelid at the base of the eyelashes. It may make the entire eyelid swell.
  • usually a small pus spot at the center 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


What is a Chalazion?

A chalazion is a swollen bump on the eyelid. It happens when the eyelid’s oil gland clog up. It may start as an internal 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 a chalazion gets large, it can press on your eye and cause blurry vision. Rarely, the whole eyelid might swell.

Chalazion Symptoms

A chalazion can develop and you might not see any symptoms. When there are symptoms, they 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 are common irritating eyelid conditions that Dr. Velasquez evaluates routinely. Dr. Velasquez is conservative in his approach with Chalazion and Styes but offers surgical in office removal if conservative treatment fails.

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