Have you noticed a small, painful, red lump at the base of your eyelash or under your eyelid? You could be developing a stye. Styes are often caused by bacterial infections. They are categorized as:
1 – External hordelum
These are styes that develop at the base of the eyelash usually as a result of a hair follicle infection. They have the appearance of a regular pimple.
2 – Internal hordelum
These are styes that develop on the inside of the eyelid. They are often the result of an infection of oil producing glands in the eyelid.
In the early stages of their development, styes appear as small pimples. Your eyelid will be tender to the touch and red. You may also experience soreness and itchiness of the eye.
When the oil glands in the eyelids clog up, they swell up and you develop a bump on the eyelid also known as a chalazion. A chalazion may start off as an internal hordeolum that is not painful. However, as it grows, your eyelids will begin to become tender to the touch, red and swollen. Very large chalazia can press against your eye and cause you to have blurry vision.
Stye vs. chalazion
It can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between the two. However, the general differences include:
- Styes are painful while chalazia often aren’t
- Styes often develop on the edge of the eyelid while chalazia develop further back
- Styes are often caused by infections of the hair follicle while chalazia are caused by the clogging of oil glands in the eyelids.
- Styes can sometimes affect the entire eyelid while chalazia rarely result in the swelling of the entire eyelid.
Symptoms of stye development include:
- Painful red bump developing on the edge of the eyelid. The entire eyelid may also swell.
- Small spots of pus at the center of the developing bump
- A feeling like you have a foreign particle in your eye
- Itchy eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Formation of crustiness along the margin of the eyelid
- Excessive tearing
Symptoms of chalazion development include:
- The development of a bump on the eyelid. The bump may later become swollen, red and tender to the touch.
- Blurry vision when bump is large
- Swollen eyelid on rare occasions.
You are at risk of developing a stye or chalazion if:
- You have blepharitis
- Have had either a chalazion or stye before
- Have a skin condition
- Are affected by diabetes
Treatment for both styes and chalazia include the application of a warm compress, taking antibiotics, steroid shots and surgery to help drain the fluid from the bumps.
Talk to an eye care specialist today if you have been suffering from styes or chalazia.