Hordeolum vs Chalazion: Differences and Treatment

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Hordeolum vs Chalazion. These are eye conditions that can be uncomfortable and impair vision. Despite similarities, they differ in etiology, symptoms, and treatment methods. This page thoroughly explains hordeolum and chalazion, highlighting their differences and assisting people in identifying and effectively managing these conditions.

Hordeolum: The Stye

Hordeolum vs Chalazion

A localized infection or eyelid inflammation is called a hordeolum or a stye. It often happens inside an oil gland on the eyelid or at the base of an eyelash. Bacterial infections, most frequently caused by Staphylococcus aureus, are the leading causes of hordeolum. Poor eyelid cleanliness, stress, hormonal fluctuations, and pre-existing blepharitis are risk factors for developing styes (eyelid margin inflammation).

Symptoms of hordeolum include

• Redness and swelling of the eyelid
• Tenderness and pain in the affected area
• Formation of a minor, pus-filled bump on the eyelid
• Crusting along the eyelid margin
• The sensation of a foreign body or grittiness in the eye
• Increased tearing or watering of the eye

Hordeolums can be internal (found inside the body) or external (located at the root of an eyelash) (developing within an oil gland). They usually self-limit and disappear with the proper home care and therapy in a week or two.

Chalazion: The Meibomian Gland Cyst

someone suffering from a chalazion eye condition

Contrary to a hordeolum, a chalazion is an uninfected obstruction of the meibomian glands, which produce oil in the eyelids. The obstruction causes an oil buildup and consequent irritation. Hordeolum that is left untreated or poorly managed and long-lasting disorders like blepharitis frequently lead to chalazia.

Symptoms of chalazion include

• A painless, firm lump or nodule on the eyelid
• Swelling and tenderness in the affected area
• Blurred or distorted vision if the chalazion presses on the eye
• Mild redness and inflammation of the eyelid
• Rarely, multiple chalazia may develop simultaneously

Chalazia typically appear gradually and might last a few days to several months. They often have no connection to infection and are not spreadable.

Hordeolum vs Chalazion: Distinguishing Features

While hordeolum and chalazion may have specific symptoms and occur in comparable areas, there are essential distinctions that aid in separating the two diseases:

Causes: A bacterial infection results in hordeolum, while obstruction of the meibomian glands causes chalazion.

Pain: Chalazion is typically painless or mildly uncomfortable, whereas hordeolum is frequently painful and tender, especially in the early stages.

Hordeolums progress quickly, peak, and drain independently or with medical intervention. Chalazia, on the other hand, manifest more gradually and might last longer.

Treatment Approaches

Hordeolum and chalazion are typically efficiently treated with preventive measures. However, you should consult a qualified medical advisor to choose the best action. Options for treatment include:

Warm compresses: Several times a day, applying warm compresses to the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes can stimulate drainage and lessen both illnesses’ symptoms.

Good eyelid care, which includes delicately cleansing the eyelashes and lids, can help prevent and treat hordeolum and chalazion.

Ointments or oral antibiotics may occasionally be prescribed by your doctor to treat hordeolum, mainly if an infection is a cause. For persistent or substantial chalazia, steroid injections or topical steroids may be advised to relieve inflammation.

Surgical intervention: An ophthalmologist may conduct minor surgical operations like incision, drainage, or chalazion removal if conservative methods prove inadequate or the problem worsens.

Natural Remedies for Hordeolum

  • Do not delay solving this condition. If it does not quickly heal, it may need to be drained by a professional. Do not squeeze the lump. This may spread the infection more widely. Styes can be dangerous. Therefore, please do not take them lightly.
  • Because you were not drinking enough water, eyelid secretions did not remain thin. Frequently wash your hands and keep them clean. Do not rub your eyes with dirty hands or fingers. Each person should have their own towel and washcloth. They should be washed daily if a person has a sty.
  • Take adequate vitamin A. But take more, if you frequently have sties. Because too much vitamin A (from supplements) can cause problems, you would do well to get vitamin A from carotene. Green and yellow vegetables and carrot juice are rich in carotene.
  • Go on a five-day fruit fast, plus carrot and celery juice. Keep the bowels clean with an enema every morning.
  • Do not indulge in fried, refined, and processed foods. Also, do not eat meats, unsaturated oils, salt, alcohol, tobacco, dairy products, or white flour.
  • Carrots, which are chopped and diced, or mashed potatoes (raw or cooked) can be made into a poultice and applied over the area. They can be left on for an hour and repeated thrice daily.
  • Hot compresses in the area are sometimes recommended. However, hold a warm, moist cloth against the affected eye instead. This will hasten drainage.
  • Very warm compresses, alternated with cold, will help draw the pus to a head and then break it open.
  • Drink three cups of goldenseal tea and eyebright to help clean the liver. Fennel or myrrh may be substituted.
  • Apply concentrated thyme tea directly to the sty with a cotton swab. Thyme is rich in thymol, an antiseptic.
  • Take echinacea orally. It is a powerful antibiotic. It has antibacterial properties. Daniel Mowrey. Ph.D. says that just 6 mg of the active constituent (echinacoside) in echinacea is equivalent to one unit of penicillin.
  • Varro Tyler, Ph.D., of Purdue University, recommends placing fresh scrapings from the inside of a potato onto a clean cloth and then onto the sty. Replace once or twice with fresh scrapings. The swelling will be down within a couple hours, and the sty will improve. By evening it will be gone.
  • A German treatment for sties is placing a hot chamomile tea compress on the sty.
  • Swallow as much chopped garlic as you are able. It works in the body to kill the staphylococci in the sty.
  • If the eye becomes infected, add ½ teaspoon salt to eight ounces of water and apply it as an eyewash.
  • After the sty drains, compresses should be continued until all drainage ceases.

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Natural Remedies for Chalazion

  • Take vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene (at least 50,000 units per day) for many days. Also, drink carrot juice, and eat green and yellow vegetables. Include a zinc supplement in the diet (15 mg, 3 times a day).
  • Apply warm poultices of three percent boric acid on the closed lid. A boric acid ophthalmic ointment may be obtained without a prescription from the pharmacy.

Common eyelid conditions like hordeolum and chalazion can be uncomfortable and impair vision. It is crucial to understand their differences to properly manage and treat the two illnesses.

A chalazion is a non-infectious blockage of the meibomian glands;. However, hordeolum is usually an illness that clears itself within a week or two; it may last longer. Consult an eye care specialist if you think you may have a stye or chalazion for an accurate diagnosis and advice on the best course of action for your particular case.


  • Vance Ferrell Harold M. Cherne, M.D. The Natural Remedies Encyclopedia [Book]. – Altamont, TN: Harvestime Books, 2010. – Vol. Seventh Edition: 7: pp. 394, 395.

Last update on 2023-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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