If you’ve ever had a red, painful bump on your eyelid, you’ve probably experienced a stye. If you have trouble opening your eyes in the morning because of matted eyelashes, blepharitis could be the cause. Along with chalazion—an eyelid bump that’s usually painless—these are all common conditions. Here’s what you need to know about stye, blepharitis and chalazion and where to get more information.

What is blepharitis?

Blepharitis is chronic (long-lasting) eyelid inflammation. It usually happens in both eyes. Symptoms include:

  • Eyelid itching
  • Burning or gritty sensation in the eyes, or dry eyes
  • Crusted or matted eyelashes, especially first thing in the morning
  • Blurry vision, or being more sensitive to light
  • Watery eyes

Your eyelids might look red and swollen and you might see flakes or scales on your eyelashes. People with certain conditions, including dandruff and acne rosacea, are more likely to get blepharitis. For more information, the Oregon Eye Specialists doctors recommend the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s blepharitis page.

If you have any of the symptoms above, talk to your eye doctor, especially if they happen in just one eye.

What is a stye?

A stye is an inflamed lump on the eyelid. It happens when an eyelash follicle becomes infected, and usually looks like a red, tender bump with pus inside. Your eye might also water or itch. You can get a stye on the inside or outside of the eyelid. Styes usually happen in just one eye at a time.

If you get a stye, you can try home treatment. Soak a clean washcloth in very warm water and wring it out. Then hold the washcloth over the area with the stye. When the washcloth cools, soak and wring it out again before placing it back on your eye. Do this for 10 to 15 minutes, three to five times a day. Use a fresh washcloth each time.

If a stye does not get better in about a week, talk to your eye doctor.

What is a chalazion?

Like a stye, a chalazion is a lump or bump on the eyelid. Unlike a stye, it usually isn’t red or painful. It happens when an oil gland in the eyelid is blocked. A stye can occasionally turn into a chalazion if it does not heal.

If you think you have a chalazion, you can try the same home treatment used for a stye. However, a chalazion usually takes much longer to go away. Some last for weeks or months. The American Academy of Ophthalmology has more information on chalazia and styes.

Make an appointment

The Oregon Eye Specialists doctors are experts in treating common eyelid conditions. Request an appointment or call us at 503-935-5580.

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