Sometimes, eye discomfort occurs, but we don’t know why. For example, upon noticing inflammation in the eyelids, people often use terms that are not synonyms, such as chalazion and stye. These are diseases of different origins and should not be confused. 

What Is Stye?

Stye is the inflammation of a follicle in the eyelids – the Zeiss glands. These sebaceous glands, found at the base of the eyelashes, can become inflamed due to a bacterium called staphylococcus. Inflammation manifests with a small, yellowish-white growth at the eyelash’s root. The area affected by stye is characterized by swelling and redness of the eyelids.

How to Treat Stye?

Stye generally tends to regress spontaneously by discharging the purulent contents within a few days.

It should not be squeezed out, but it is advisable to cleanse the area with specific disinfectant solutions. As long as inflammation is present, it is best to avoid wearing makeup or contact lenses. 

If it becomes chronic, surgical removal may be necessary.

What Is Chalazion?

On the other hand, a chalazion is a small cyst. It forms as a result of chronic inflammation of the Meibonium glands that produce the lipid component of tears.

In the case of excretory duct occlusion, the product of the gland accumulates instead of being excreted through tears, causing the gland to increase in volume and resulting in painful inflammation.

In addition, if the chalazion is large, the thickened eyelid can lead to astigmatism.

Chalazion should not be underestimated, and an eye examination should be performed, especially if the condition persists or tends to recur.

The causes of chalazion can be different. On one hand, there is a personal predisposition, especially when combined with stress; on the other hand, there is improper diet, perhaps too rich in fat, or even gastrointestinal diseases.

How Is Chalazion Treated?

Treatment requires antibiotics to counteract any further infection, as well as corticosteroids, which can reduce swelling and help the purulent material escape. The gradual reduction of swelling indicates that the chalazion is healing. If drug therapy is not resolving, surgery may be necessary.

Whether to operate or not will be the surgeon’s decision based on the area of the chalazion, the patient’s condition, and their age.

How to Distinguish Chalazion from Stye?

A chalazion can be recognized and distinguished by the swelling in or on the edge of the eyelid. In addition, it is usually painless

A clinical evaluation will help determine the correct diagnosis.