Styes and Chalazions

What Are Styes and Chalazions?

Styes and Chalazions are lumps that can grow in the eyelid margin. They can look similar, but there are some differences.

What is a Stye and What Causes It?

A stye is a red and very painful lump that develops in the eyelid margin as a consequence of an infection of an oil gland (Meibomian gland) or a hair follicle located in the eyelid margin. They are also known as hordeolum.

What is a Chalazion and What Causes It?

A chalazion is a little, non painful red lump, a cyst, that grows in the eyelid. It is caused by a clogged oil gland (Meibomian gland). There are multiple Meibomian glands located at the superior and inferior eyelid margin.

What Are the Symptoms of Styes and Chalazions?

Stye: Styes are painful, and can be associated with significant swelling and tenderness of the eyelid affected. They can drain leaving crustiness in the lid margin.

Chalazion: In general, chalazions are not painful or tender. Occasionally if they press on the eye surface it may produce blurriness.

Author
Patricia Martinez, MD Patricia Martinez, MD Patricia Martinez Lehmann MD, is a board- eligible comprehensive ophthalmologist and eye surgeon treating patients throughout Blue Bell, Hatboro, North Wales and Bethlehem Pennsylvania. Dr Martinez is originally from Spain. She trained as an ophthalmologist in Barcelona (Spain) and worked there in comprehensive eye care for 10 years before moving to the US in 2010 for family reasons. She loved and missed her profession so much that in order to return to the clinical practice here in America she completed a one year glaucoma research fellowship at Wills Eye Hospital and 4 years of another ophthalmology residency at Drexel University / Hahnemann Hospital (Philadelphia) and West Virginia University Eye Institute ( Morgantown). Dr Martinez areas of expertise include cataract surgery, management of glaucoma and dry eye disease. Dr Martinez speaks English and Spanish.

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