Ouch! Painful eye bump Identify Styes or Chalazions

Ouch! Painful Eye Bump? Identify Styes or Chalazions: Get Fast Relief!

Yes, everyone of us has been there. Getting up in the morning and feeling something is hurting your eyes so bad that you cannot even open them. You will only find a red bump in your eyes. Is it a stye or a chalazions? But more importantly, how do you make this bump disappear?

Styes or Chalazions? A Brief Intro on Eye Bump

Styes are a type of eye bump that is typically caused by bacterial infections of the eyelash follicles or oil glands at the base of the eyelashes. However, chalazions are similar bumps that are caused by blocked oil glands in the eyelid.

Styles and chalazia are both types of eyelid bumps that are generally caused by blockage in the oil glands of your eyelids. The major difference between styes and chalazia is that styes are usually painful and may cause the eyelid to swell and become red. However, chalazia are larger than styes and are not that painful.

These bumps could be quite uncomfortable for you and could create irritation and unease in your eyes. But worry not, because here I will present you with everything from the symptoms and preventive measures to all the tips related to chalazions and styes for your fast relief.

Causes of Styes or Chalazion: What Leads to Eye Bumps?

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

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

What are meibomian glands?

Meibomian glands are large oil-producing glands located in the eyelid. They secrete oil with every blink and provide the eye with the outermost layer of the tear film. Without this oily layer, the watery component of the tear film will evaporate too quickly and ultimately cause dry eyes. These glands, like all the oil glands in the face, can easily get clogged.

Painful Eye Bump: Styes or Chalazion?

The pesky bumps that you have in your eyes could either be styes or chalazion. Well, they can be a real pain, and literally a lot in the case of styes. Before setting foot in a doctor’s office, here is how you can differentiate and identify between these eye demons:

Features Styes Chalazion
Location On the edge of the eyelid Deeper inside the eyelid
Size Small and red Large and filled with oil
Pain Often painful Usually painless
redness Frequently red and swollen More discreet and yellowish
Increases tear production Common Less Common
Tenderness yes Rare
Crusting Crusting along the eyelid margin Less common
Feeling something in eyes Happens often Less common

A sty or chalazion begins as a tender red lump or bump within the eyelid at the base of the eyelash. It may cause tearing, light sensitivity, and the sensation of having something in the eye. Swelling usually involves only a small area of the lid, but in some cases, it can lead to irritation and redness of the whole eyelid.

A small, yellowish spot eventually appears in the center of a sty when the pus collection expands to become visible just beneath the skin or eyelid surface. Pain is usually relieved when the sty ruptures, draining the pus through an opening in the skin, the lid margin, or the undersurface of the lid.

Inside the Symptoms of Eye Bump

A chalazion at first may be red and swollen for a few days, but eventually it changes to a painless, slowly growing, round mass in the lid. The skin around this firm, rubbery lump can be moved loosely over the swelling.The major symptoms of styes are:

  • Tenderness
  • Feeling something in your eyes
  • Increased Tear production

While the symptoms of chalazion are:

  • Blurred vision (if the bump is large enough to press on eyeball)
  • Entirely swollen eyelids (rare)
  • Tenderness (rare)

Prevention is Key: Saving your Eyelids from Eye Bump

While both styes and chalazia can be treated, prevention is always the best medicine (or, in this case, eye drops!). Home treatments, along with antibiotics and steroid drops, are used to heal an eyelid bump, whether it is currently infected or not.

It is important to see your ophthalmologist as soon as possible to avoid the infection spreading to the eyelid. As a last resort, if the bump persists, it can be removed surgically in a simple office procedure under local anesthesia. Also, sometimes (very rarely) a tumor in the eyelid masquerades as a chalazion. Here are some tips to keep those pesky pirates off your ship:

  • Eyelid Hygiene

Wash your face and eyelids gently with soap and water every day. This removes dirt, oil, and makeup that can clog oil glands and lead to blockages. Washing your eyes at least twice a day, and taking an eye care routine will help you keep the external dust away.

  • Ditch the Makeup

Avoid wearing eye makeup, especially eyeliner and mascara, while you have a stye or chalazion. These products, which contain chemicals and fragrances, can further irritate the area and slow down healing.

  • Clean Your Brushes

Regularly clean your eye makeup brushes with a gentle cleanser to prevent bacteria buildup. Anything that comes into contact with your eyes should be hygienic to protect your eyes from dust and diseases.

  • Keep your hands off!

Avoid rubbing your eyes, as this can irritate them and introduce bacteria. Keep your hands clean whenever you touch your eyes. And also remember that rubbing their eyes is bad for them.

  • Warm Compresses

Regularly applying warm compresses to your eyelids for 10–15 minutes at a time can help to loosen blockages and prevent future styes and chalazia. Holding such warm compresses gently against your eyes can help you drain and restore the normal functioning of the meibomain gland.

  • Diet and Sleep

Maintaining a healthy diet and getting enough sleep can boost your immune system, making you less susceptible to infections that can contribute to styes.


Eye bumps, whether the pesky pirates known as styes or the hidden cargo of chalazia, can be a real pain (literally, in the case of styes). But fear not, mateys! By understanding the key differences between these two common eye woes, you’re already well on your way to identifying the culprit and charting a course for relief.

Remember, location, size, pain, and redness are your key allies in this battle. If you’re still unsure, don’t hesitate to raise the Jolly Roger and consult your friendly neighborhood doctor for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.

In the meantime, prevention of eye bump is your best defense. Keep your eyelids squeaky clean, ditch the makeup when trouble arises, and give those oil glands some TLC with warm compresses. By following these simple steps, you can significantly reduce your chances of encountering these uninvited guests on your precious peepers.

So, go forth and conquer those bumps with confidence! With a little knowledge and some proactive measures, you can ensure smooth sailing for your vision and keep those pesky pirates at bay. Remember, a healthy eye is a happy eye, and a happy eye is an eye free from bumps!

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