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How can you tell the difference between a stye or a chalazion?

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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. Other differences between a stye and a chalazion:

  • A chalazion can grow larger than a stye, as big as a pea. It can get big enough to blur your vision.
  • A chalazion is more likely to return.
  • A stye often hurts, and a chalazion usually doesn’t. Adults tend to develop styes and chalazia more often than children, but anybody can get one.

SOURCES:

Cheng, K. , published online April 19, 2014. Cochrane Library

Mayo Clinic: “Sty.”

American Optometric Association: “Chalazion.”

 

Reviewed by Brian S. Boxer Wachler on August 2, 2018

SOURCES:

Cheng, K. , published online April 19, 2014. Cochrane Library

Mayo Clinic: “Sty.”

American Optometric Association: “Chalazion.”

 

Reviewed by Brian S. Boxer Wachler on August 2, 2018

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What causes a stye or a chalazion?

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