When you notice a bump on your eyelid, it can be hard to determine whether it’s a chalazion or a stye. While most bumps of these kinds are harmless, though able to make you feel pain for some time, there are cases in which consulting a doctor is a must. Let’s find out in what ways chalazions and styes differ, and when it is time to have your bump examined.
What is a chalazion?While chalazions and styes may be difficult to distinguish between, there are some differences which make it possible to find out what has attacked your eyelid in this particular case. The term ‘chalazion’ denotes a cyst which appears when an oil gland in the eyelid becomes blocked. Here are specific features of chalazions which can be used to distinguish between the two:
- In most cases, chalazions appear in the middle of the lid.
- In most cases, chalazions are not painful.
- Chalazions are usually red.
- The affected eyelid becomes swollen.
- Some people experience increased tearing.
- The affected eyelid becomes heavy.
- Conjunctiva also becomes red.
What is a stye?Unlike chalazions, which are the result of blocking an oil gland, a stye is due to a bacterial infection attacking the eyelid, i.e. its oil glands. In most people, the bacteria to blame are Staphylococcus aureus. So the main difference between chalazions and styes is that they are of different natures: while the former has nothing to do with infections, the latter has a bacterial infection behind it. This difference also determines the specific features of styes:
- In most cases, styes appear at the eyelid edge.
- In most cases, styes are painful. The pain is localized.
- Styes are usually red with a yellowish spot seen at the bump center.
- The affected eyelid also becomes swollen.
- Tearing can also be seen in some people.
- A stye can cause blurred vision, eyelid droopiness, mucous discharge, tenderness, burning or scratchy sensation in the eye, and discomfort, because a stye feels like a foreign body.
- The onset of styes is usually more sudden than those of chalazions.