Have you ever experienced a small bump on your eyelid that seems to linger? It may hurt, swell, or turn red, or you may not feel it. If this sounds familiar, it might be a chalazion. This is a common eye condition that affects many people. But what is it, and how can you deal with it?
A blocked oil gland in your eyelid causes a chalazion. Many tiny oil glands in your eyelids help keep your eyes moist and lubricated. But dirt, makeup, or bacteria can clog these glands. When this happens, the oil builds up inside the gland, forming a chalazion lump.
A chalazion is different from a stye. A stye is an infection of an eyelash follicle or an oil gland near the edge of your eyelid. It is usually red, tender, and pus-filled. A chalazion is generally deeper in your eyelid and less inflamed. However, a stye can turn into a chalazion if it does not drain properly.
A chalazion is a small lump that can form on your eyelid, either upper or lower. It can feel hard or soft, depending on the amount of oil trapped inside. It can form in one eye or both. It can also have different sizes, from a small bean to a grape. It may cause various symptoms, such as:
Discomfort or pain in your eyelid
Redness or swelling of your eyelid
Blurry vision or difficulty seeing
Sensitivity to light or tears
A feeling of something in your eye
However, some may not cause any symptoms at all. They may go unnoticed until they grow larger or affect your vision.
Most chalazia will go away independently within a few weeks or months. They usually do not need any treatment. However, you can take some steps to speed up their recovery and avoid complications:
Put a warm compress on your eyelid for about 15 minutes several times daily. This will help soften the oil and drain the gland
Gently massage your eyelid with your clean finger or a cotton swab after applying the warm compress. This will help squeeze out the oil and reduce the lump
Keep your eyelids clean, and avoid touching or rubbing them. Use mild soap and water or baby shampoo to wash your eyelids daily
Remove any makeup or contact lenses before going to bed
Avoid using eye makeup or creams until the chalazion heals. These products can irritate your eyes and clog your oil glands
Do not squeeze or pop the chalazion. This can cause blood loss, infection, or scars
If the chalazion does not improve after several weeks of home treatment, you should see an eye doctor. They may prescribe some eye drops or ointments to reduce inflammation and infection. They may also perform minor surgery to remove the chalazion if it is large or affecting your vision.
A chalazion is not a severe condition but can be annoying and uncomfortable. These tips can help it heal faster and prevent future ones from forming.
For more information on a chalazion, visit Westchester Eyes at our Yonkers, New York office. Call 914-586-EYES (3937) to schedule an appointment today.