A chalazion and a stye may look similar, but they have some differences. A chalazion is a red bump on the eyelid that develops when there is a blocked oil gland.

A stye or hordeolum is an infected and inflamed oil gland caused by bacteria at the level of the eyelash and it can be super painful and unpleasant.


The bump caused by chalazia (the plural of chalazion) or stye may both look red and swollen, but there are some differences.

Symptoms of Stye;

  1. Crustiness on the eyelid margin
  2. The feeling of something in your eyes(s).
  3. Pain in the affected eyelid
  4. A pimple-like appearance
  5. A scratchy feeling in the eye
  6. Sensitivity to light
  7. Swelling that usually goes away after three days
  8. Tearing in the affected eye

Symptoms of chalazion;

A chalazion sometimes may not have any symptom aside from a hard bump. If other symptoms develop, they may be:

  1. Blurry vision that could happen with a larger chalazion.
  2. Swelling that may affect a larger area around the eye.

Chalazion bumps usually grow more slowly and may develop over a few months before they go away if left untreated. The bump is usually firmer than that from stye.




The treatment for a stye and chalazion are similar, but not all treatments work for both.

Treatments include the use of:

  1. Warm and wet compresses for about 5 to 10 minutes, 3 to 6 times a day. This usually helps the area heal faster. It may also open a blocked pore so it drains faster and starts to heal.
  2. Over-the-counter treatment; Ointment, solution, or medicated pads (such as ocusoft lid scrub).
  3. Antibiotics
  4. Steroid shots: A steroid shot can reduce the swelling
  5. Biopsy: If your chalazion or stye continues to recur, your doctor may perform a biopsy by removing a piece of tissue from it.6 This can help rule out sebaceous gland carcinoma.


You should also see a doctor if;

  • Your home treatments cause pain
  • Your eyelid feels hot
  • You have vision changes


  • Once you develop a chalazion or stye, you’re more prone to developing them again in the future.

 Here are a few things you can do to help prevent a chalazion or a stye:

  1. Avoid rubbing your eyes. Rubbing your eyes can spread bacteria and lead to irritation.

Always wash your hands before touching your eyes.

  1. Don’t share towels with someone who has a stye.

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