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Doctor insights on: What Is The Difference Between Pink Eye And A Sty

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Dr. Matheson Harris
Board Certified, Ophthalmology
10 years in practice
492K people helped
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Can you tell me the difference between sty and pink eye?

Can you tell me the difference between sty and pink eye?

Eye vs eyelid: Pink eye is a viral or bacterial infection of the surface of the eye and mucus membranes lining the eyelids (conjunctiva). A stye is an infected eyelash follicle and presents as a red, painful bump on the eyelid. ...Read more

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Dr. Steven Seres
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Dr. Heidi Fowler
179 doctors shared insights

Sty (Definition)

A sty is when an oil gland of the eyelid margin gets clogged and the oil backs up and forming a pocket of stagnant oil and the eyelid becomes inflamed. A hordeolum is the acute phase or beginning stage of a stye, and a chalazion is the chronic phase (where the oil becomes more granular, thick and the skin inflammation resolves, but there is still a ...Read more


Dr. Olivia Liao
Board Certified, Ophthalmology
25 years in practice
1M people helped
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How can you tell difference between a sty and pink eye?

How can you tell difference between a sty and pink eye?

Here's how: In conjunctivitis, or pink eye, the whites of the eye get more red or injected. With styes, or chalazion, the eyelid is also affected. ...Read more

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Dr. Steven Seres
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Dr. Richard Bensinger
Board Certified, Ophthalmology
46 years in practice
29M people helped
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How are sty and pink eye distinguished from each other?

How are sty and pink eye distinguished from each other?

Considerable: A stye is like a pimple of the glands in the lids - causing pain, local swelling discharge. It is in the skin of the lid and not the eye. Pink eye is usually an infection that is viral of the lining of the eye, causing redess, discharge and occasionally lowering of vision. It is on the surface of the eye and not the lid. ...Read more

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Dr. George Yang
Board Certified, Ophthalmology
21 years in practice
707K people helped
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Can sty or pink eye cause you to stay home?

Can sty or pink eye cause you to stay home?

No and Yes: Styes are not contagious, but pink eye from viral conjunctivitis can be highly contagious. ...Read more

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Dr. Steven Seres
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Dr. Richard Carlin
Board Certified, Ophthalmology
44 years in practice
403K people helped
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What could I do to find out if its pink eye or a sty in the eye?

Different locations: Pink eye refers to an infection in the conjunctiva, the clear membrane over the white of your eye. A sty is an infection in one of the glands in the eyelid. ...Read more

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Dr. Harold Peltan
Board Certified, Ophthalmology
22 years in practice
4M people helped
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I woke up with my right eyelid swollen and a reddish purple . No sty , no pink eye , and i haven't been hit n it hurts . Please help !

I woke up with my right eyelid swollen and a reddish purple . No sty , no pink eye , and i haven't been hit n it hurts . Please help !

See MD: You need to get to a doctor to properly evaluate the cause. There may be infection or trauma that you were unaware of as may occur during sleep. This is not an appropriate condition to address online. ...Read more

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Dr. Colin Kerr
Board Certified, Family Medicine
38 years in practice
19M people helped
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The area under my left eye is red, swollen and tender to touch. I do not believe it is a sty or pink eye - what could this be?

The area under my left eye is red, swollen and tender to touch. I do not believe it is a sty or pink eye - what could this be?

Inflamed skin: If skin is red, swollen and tender to touch it is inflamed. The most concerning cause of inflammation is infection, so keep an eye out. Chronic irritation from rubbing or watering eyes can do it. Bug bites can do it. Sometimes allergies can do it, although these usually itch more than hurt until they get infected. You might also be in the early stage of a stye. Keep an eye out for a bump on eyelid. ...Read more

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Dr. Creighton Wright
Board Certified, General Surgery
50 years in practice
17M people helped
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I have had a stye in my eye for 3 weeks and have now developed pink eye in the same eye. What should I do?

I have had a stye in my eye for 3 weeks and have now developed pink eye in the same eye. What should I do?

OPTHALMOLOGIST: Some source of infection - frequently staph and needs compresses, and likely antibiotics. If any eye disease previously, may need to go to er. ...Read more

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Dr. Alan Jackson
Board Certified, Addiction Medicine
24 years in practice
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Dr. Richard Bensinger
Board Certified, Ophthalmology
46 years in practice
29M people helped
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How to know if you have pink eye or stye?

How to know if you have pink eye or stye?

Location: Pink eye, with several causes, leads to redness of the eye itself (the conjunctival lining over the white of the eye). Usually some discomfort, discharge and light sensitivity. Styes are in the lids, cause focal swelling, sometimes much pain and tenderness, and rarely affect vision. ...Read more

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Dr. Andrea Kossler
350 doctors shared insights

Hordeolum (Definition)

Hordeolum is also known as Stye. This is an inflammation of a gland in the lid, analogous to a pimple, in which stagnated secretion becomes infected and sets up a focal inflammation. It is a fancy term for what most ...Read more


Dr. Jon Fishburn
688 doctors shared insights

Conjunctivitis (Definition)

The conjunctiva is the outer layer of thye eye. Conjunctivitis means inflammation by any irritant. The normal pale clear tissue will look iritated and discolored from light pink to angry red and ...Read more


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Dr. Steven Seres
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