Are you feeling a painless inflammation, or swelling in your eyelid? You might be having a chalazion, an inflammatory lesion that is more common than what you think. If you want to know what can cause it, and what you can do to get rid of it, keep reading, we are going to tell you everything about it.
What is a chalazion?
Chalazion is a bump in the eyelid that slowly grows, and is also known as meibomian cyst is caused when the meibomian glands in the eyelid get blocked, these glands are in charge of producing meibum, an oil that has the function of keeping our eyes moist among others such as preventing the tears from spilling onto the cheeks, when the gland is blocked the oil starts to accumulate, forming that uncomfortable lump. Other signs and symptoms of chalazion are:
- Irritation in your eyelid.
- Swelling and redness.
- The chalazion gradually grows larger, meaning that it can press your eyeball, causing blurry vision.
The content of the chalazion consists of fluids or lipids. Most of the time, the chalazion disappears on its own, but sometime it can last several weeks, and become a serious condition.
A common misconception is that the chalazion is the same as a stye, but although both might look alike, there are a few differences between them:
- Styes are painful.
- Styes are formed by an infection of the meibomian gland, eyelash follicle, and sweat gland.
- Chalazion can appear right after a stye.
- Symptoms of a stye include sensitivity to light.
- If you have a stye, the eye can feel sore, and scratchy.
What causes a chalazion?
- Blepharitis: A condition that consist of the inflammation of the eyelids, and increase the risk of suffering either a stye, or a chalazion.
- High lipid blood concentration.
- Seborrheic dermatitis: A condition that causes red, itchy skin.
- Acne rosacea.
- An untreated stye.
- Poor eyelid hygiene.
- Eyelid trauma or surgery.
- Viral infections.
How can you prevent a chalazion?
- Make sure your hands are clean every time you touch your eyes.
- Wash your makeup brushes at least once a week.
- Don’t share makeup.
- If you wear glasses or contact lenses, make sure to keep them clean.
- Wash your face before going to bed.
Once you notice a persistent chalazion that is growing more everyday, you need to see a doctor, but there are some at-home treatments you can do:
- Don’t squeeze the chalazion, and try to touch it the less possible to reduce the risk of infection.
- Don’t wear makeup or contact lenses.
- Warm compresses: This is an effective home treatment that relieves the irritation, helps the chalazion to drain more easily, and softens the oil that is blocking the glands. All you need to do is soak a cotton pad in warm water, and apply it in the eyelid for about 10 minutes, do it around four times a day.
- Eyelid massage: A good massage helps the ductus to drain, and you will receive additional benefits like boosting the blood flow. Before you start, make sure your hands are clean. Use your index or middle finger, and start with the upper eyelid, go from the inner corner to the outer corner, with a soft movement, then repeat all the process on the lower lid. Always do the massage with the eyes close, and make sure that you don’t press too hard.
- Over-the-counter medication: This includes eyepads or eyelid creams, you can talk to your doctor about using prescription eye drops, or another type of medication.
Professional treatment choices.
Steroid injections: This choice is used when there is no infection, the medicaments used are mostly triamcinolone, and methylprednisone, and have been proven to reduce the inflammation, and speed up the drainage of the chalazion. This is considered when the chalazion has become chronic, and when the location is close to certain structures (like the lacrimal drainage system) in which the surgery is not recommended.
The chalazion removal surgery is considered when the lesion persists after many weeks and is starting to interfere with the patient’s vision.
One of the best parts of this operation is that you can go home the same day you received the surgery, is a simple process that uses local anaesthetic, the surgeon does a small incision, then the chalazion is removed, the incision is closed with fine stitches that look cosmetically good, and all the surgery takes around 15 minutes.
After the surgery, you might notice some swelling, but do not worry it will disappear shortly.
Also, avoid using makeup or putting water in your eyes for the next 7 to 10 days. You will also have a pad covering your eye that will be removed after a few days.
Chalazion removal is a safe process, and complications are rare.
Chalazion consist on an inflammatory bump that can appear on both of our eyelids, but mainly happens in the upper one, and is caused by a blockage of the meibomian glands, which are in charge of producing oil to keep our eyes moist, the oil is accumulated in the gland, resulting in a small bump that is slowly growing larger and is usually painless, but can cause irritation, redness, and blur vision once it grows too big.
The risk factors and reasons for developing a chalazion are acne rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, poor lid hygiene, blepharitis, and an untreated cyst. This lesion tends to resolve by its own in a few days, but when that doesn’t happen, treatment is needed.
One of the easiest alternatives are at-home treatments, that consist of using hot water compress, and doing an eyelid massage, both help the ductus to drain easier, and softens the oil, and if these choices don’t work you can choose to receive a steroid injection that will reduce the inflammation, or a chalazion removal surgery in which a surgeon removes the lesion, the process doesn’t take longer than 10 minutes, and you the recovery time last about 7 days.