Symptoms of Styes & Chalazia

Image of StyeA stye, also known as a hordeolum, and chalazion are both sometimes difficult to distinguish.  Both are a red, swollen lump on your eyelids. Both can occur at any age. Here is part 2 of a short series to help you understand the differences between a stye (hordeolum) and a chalazion.

This is part of a series on styes and chalazia.  Links to other articles may be found at the end of this article.

A stye is caused by a bacterial infection and the symptoms include:

There is tremendous overlap between the symptoms of a stye and the symptoms of chalazia.  Don’t get too caught up in the details. If you have questions, give your eye doctor a call.

  • A painful and inflamed bump on the edge of the eyelid that may swell the entire eyelid
  • A small yellow spot in the center of the inflamed area. The yellow spot is pus.
  • The feeling of something in your eye
  • A scratchy feeling in the eye
  • The eye may water excessively
  • Sensitivity to light
  • A crustiness that forms along the eyelid

A chalazion is not an infection but is a backup of oily lubricant from one of the oil-producing glands in the eye and symptoms include:

  • A bump on the eyelid that is usually not painful
  • In some rare cases, an entire swollen eyelid
  • If the bump becomes large, it can press on the eyeball and cause blurry vision

Anyone can develop a stye or chalazion, but you are more at risk if you have one or more of the following:

Many patients have blepharitis, a chronic condition of the eyelids, which increases your chances of getting a stye or chalazion.

  • Have blepharitis, a condition where there is chronic inflammation of the eyelids
  • Have had a previous stye or chalazion
  • Have acne, rosacea, or seborrheic dermatitis
  • Have diabetes or other medical conditions

Additional articles on styes and chalazia:

Part 1: What’s the difference between and stye and chalazion?

Part 2: Symptoms of Styes and Chalazia

Part 3: Treatment Options for Styes and Chalazia