A chalazion often is indistinguishable from a stye. Both are bumps that occur along the edge of your eyelids. A chalazion stye, however, usually develops further inside the rim of your eyelid, whereas a normal stye usually appears on the edge of your eyelid. A stye that appears on the inside of your eyelid is clinically called a hordeolum. The plural word for chalazion is chalazia.

The chalazion comes from Greek origin meaning “small bump.” A stye is caused by an infection, often from an infected eyelash or from bacterium spread from your nose to your eyes. You also can get a stye from another person by sharing towels or shaking hands and then touching your eye. A chalazion stye, on the other hand, results from a blocked oil gland and usually has nothing to do with bacteria.

Because the symptoms are so similar, you may not even know which kind of bump is on your eye until you see your ophthalmologist. Chalazia and styes both can be treated at home without much trouble; a chalazion may go away on its own with no interference from you at all. And there usually isn’t any pain associated with chalazia, whereas you can experience extreme pain when you get a stye.

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