Chalazion (plural is “chalazia”) is a word we don’t hear often. However, some people know this annoying and potentially vision damaging eyelid cyst all too well. Let’s look at why people get chalazia, their symptoms and treatments.
What Is a Chalazion?
A chalazion is a benign cyst which develops on the inner aspect of either the lower or upper eyelid. It appears as a small, red bump, and while it is not cancerous, it can harm the cornea, or clear outer layer of the eyeball.
What Are the Symptoms of Chalazia?
The symptoms of chalazia include:
- Mild eye irritation
- A noticeable eyelid bump
- Blurry vision as pressure on the eyeball increases due to the chalazia
- Watery eyes
Why Would I Develop a Chalazion?
You may develop a chalazion when the oil glands surrounding the eyelashes on the upper and lower lids become clogged and swell. This reddened bump is different from a stye, or the crusty, bumpy eyelid infection common in people of all ages and especially in children.
The chalazion does not cause eye pain per se. However, the affected eye and eyelid can become very irritated resulting in profuse eye watering. Left untreated, a chalazion may become infected, a potentially dangerous eye health problem.
Risk factors for developing chalazia are:
- Touching any part of your eye with dirty hands
- Various viral infections
- Dermatitis, rosacea and other chronic skin conditions
- Repeated episodes of an eyelid infection called blepharitis
What Can My Eye Surgeon Do to Help Me with My Chalazion?
At home, you may try applying warm compresses for a day or two to ease symptoms and to reduce the size of the chalazion. Avoid using eye shadow, mascara and other cosmetics on or near the eyelids, and be sure to practice careful handwashing. Try to keep your hands away from your face and eyes.
Do not touch your eyelids with your fingers, and when you wash your face, use a clean washcloth and dry with a clean towel. Refrain from the temptation to pop the chalazion as this only leads to infection and additional soreness.
If these interventions do not help your symptoms within a few days, see your ophthalmologist. He will inspect the bump to determine if it is a stye or chalazion and to determine if it is damaging the cornea in any way.
He may prescribe ointment, drops or even oral medications for infection. In rare cases, the doctor may drain the chalazion to facilitate healing. Most cysts treated in this way heal well within a week or so.
If you experience a recurrence of chalazia, think about improving your hygiene habits – good handwashing, never sharing eye makeup and getting rid of old cosmetics. Plus, be sure to see your eye doctor in Miramar for a routine eye exam once a year or more often if cyst symptoms develop again.
Chalazion Treatment in Miramar, FL
At Miramar Eye Institute, Dr. Kenneth Karp treats many patients who have developed irritating chalazia. He knows that at-home treatments often work well when persistently applied. He also uses drug treatments and surgical excision in more extreme cases.
If you see a bump developing on your inner eyelid, please don’t wait. Dr. Karp can take care of it quickly and effectively, so your vision remains clear. Call us today for an in-office consultation at (954) 437-4316, or request your visit here. Remember, our professional team works hard to give you and your family the clearest, healthiest vision possible.