Pink Eye vs Stye: Difference and Comparison

Pink eye and stye are two different eye diseases. Both of them affect the conjunctiva and cause almost similar symptoms. The causes of the disease are different and need immediate treatment.

Key Takeaways

  1. Pink eye is an infection of the conjunctiva that causes redness, itching, and discharge, while a stye is an eyelid infection that causes a painful lump.
  2. Pink eye is highly contagious and can be caused by bacteria and viruses, whereas a blocked oil gland causes a stye.
  3. Pink eye can be treated with antibiotics, antihistamines, or eye drops, while a stye can be treated with warm compresses, antibiotics, or surgery in rare cases.

Pink Eye vs Stye

Pink eye is a contagious eye disease that irritates the conjunctiva caused by allergies or an infection. It causes redness, itchiness, and discharge around the eye. A stye is a non-contagious eye disease that causes a painful lump on the eyelid caused by bacteria. It is filled with pus and is formed due to a plug or block in small glands of the eyelid.

Pink Eye vs Stye

Pink eye is also called conjunctivitis. It is nothing but an inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye. The conjunctiva is nothing but the white part which surrounds the eyelid.

The blood vessels in the conjunctiva become inflamed and give a reddish appearance, which is more visible. The inflamed or infected blood vessels are the reason for conjunctivitis or pink eye.

Bacteria or viruses are the major cause of pink eye. It may also be due to allergic reactions in the human body.

A stye is nothing but an acne-like structure with a discharge when it breaks down. The stye can be classified into external stye and internal stye.

The external stye is the acne present in the outer part of the eyelid, and the internal stye is the acne present in the inner side of the eyelid.

Both of them are painful and need medications or treatment. Infections are the primary reason for both types of the stye.

The single-eye effect is common but also affects both eyes and causes bumps.

Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisonPink EyeStye
AppearancePink eye look like redness of the skinStye look like a bump on the outer layer
Development of dead cellsIn the pink eye, there is no development of dead cellsIn stye, there is a formation of dead cells
ContagiousPink eye is contagiousStye is not contagious
Pus formationPink eye has no formation of pusStye has a formation of pus
DischargePink eye has yellow dischargeStye has no discharge

What is Pink Eye?

Pink eye is the most common disease in people who have allergic. In severe conditions, it rarely affects the vision and causes blindness.

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Irritation is the primary symptom of pink eye. Pink eye is considered contagious. Immediate treatment will help to stop the spread of pink eye.

It can be controlled by limiting its spreading speed. Redness, itchiness, gritty feeling, and discharges in both eyes are the early symptoms of pink eye. Sometimes tearing also happens.

The severe condition of pink eye may cause eye pain, blurred vision, and sticking of something. These symptoms need immediate care and treatment.

If you wear glasses or contact lenses, then your eyesight must be checked. New pair of the lens are recommended. It might cause severe infection to the retina and infect the blood vessels.

Adenovirus and herpes simplex virus is a common type of virus that causes pink eye in humans. The coronavirus may also affect your conjunctiva and cause pink eye.

A tainted lens also causes pink eye. The tainted lens may have bacteria and cause bacterial conjunctivitis.

The three types of conjunctivitis are viral conjunctivitis, bacterial conjunctivitis, and allergic conjunctivitis. All of them are contagious and need immediate treatment.

If pink eye is diagnosed in one eye and you avoid treatment, then another eye may also be affected. The risk factor for pink eye is inflammation in the cornea, which affects vision.

What is Stye?

The stye is also called a sty. The stye is nothing but a red bump on the outer layer of the eye. The stye is very painful and looks like a tiny pimple. It is due to the blockage of the oil-producing gland.

The eye follicles get infected and inflamed. Hordeolum is the medical term of stye. The stye is painful when compared to pink eye.

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The blockage of glands or pores of the skin around the eye is called stye. It may be due to dust or pollution and also due to irregular washing of the face.

A stye is a common thing that affects all genders and ages of people. But compared to children, adults have more common because of their oil-secreting glands.

Adult oil glands are more prone to blockage than children. If you have diabetes, dandruff, and rosacea, then stye is a common thing.

High levels of blood cholesterol may also cause stye in adults. It takes two weeks to cure completely. It gets dissolved by itself, and consults the doctor if it is more painful.

Avoid contact with that bump and eyelid.

A stye is not contagious like pink eye. If you keep contact with your hands, then it leads to bacterial infection. If the bump is in large size, then it affects the vision.

There are two types of stye, namely external stye and internal stye. Both of them are painful and cause discomfort to the vision.

stye eye

Main Differences Between Pink Eye and Stye

  1. The vision can be affected by pink eye, whereas there is no effect on vision in a stye.
  2. The formation of cellulitis is high in pink eye and low in a stye.
  3. The pink eye does not need drainage, whereas stye needs drainage.
  4. The pink eye is classified into viral and bacterial, whereas stye is classified into external and internal.
  5. Pink eye is due to prolonged exposure to lights, whereas stye is due to dust and microorganisms.
Difference Between Pink Eye and Stye

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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11 thoughts on “Pink Eye vs Stye: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Definitely a very informative read! The detailed explanation of the symptoms, causes, and treatments of pink eye and stye is very valuable.

  2. I appreciate the clear explanation and the detailed comparison between pink eye and stye. I now know which symptoms to look out for and not to ignore any eye problems.

  3. This article gives me crucial knowledge about the two eye diseases. Now I can take appropriate action upon experiencing any symptoms related to either pink eye or stye.

  4. This information is essential in understanding how to efficiently differentiate between pink eye and stye. I find the explanation about the contagiousness and causes of both diseases very helpful.

  5. This is a great reference for anyone seeking to educate themselves on pink eye and stye. The detailed comparison and thorough explanations are highly beneficial.

  6. The article is a great help in raising awareness about the differences and similarities between pink eye and stye. The comparison table is especially informative.


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