Author - Frank Zhang (Optometrist)
Have you ever had a mysterious lump on the eyelid and ever wondered what it could be. The pea-sized lump that seem to remain for weeks despite your best efforts to be rid of it.
What you may have is a Chalazion.
A Chalazion is usually a painless bump or nodule inside the upper or lower eyelid. The chalazion is caused by a blockage in one of the tiny meibomian glands of the upper and lower eyelids. The oil these glands produce helps to moisten the eyes.
What is the difference between a stye and a chalazion?
The primary difference between a stye and a chalazion is the cause. A stye usually forms close to the edge of the eyelids and it is a red sore lump. Stye is usually caused by an eyelash follicle which has become inflamed. A stye can also come up inside the eyelid making it an internal hordeolum.
Chalazion on the other hand is caused when an oil producing gland becomes swollen and oil clogs up the opening. In contrast to a stye, this is typically slow developing and is located further from the eyelids edge than a stye and is usually larger.
Chalazion is more common in people with inflammatory conditions like acne, rosacea, chronic blepharitis or long term inflammation of the eyelid.
The mainstay of treatment involves warm compresses (folded warm towel) and lid scrubs. A warm compress may be applied to the affected eyelid to help unclog the gland so that it drains. Once the gland opens and the discharge is allowed to drain, massaging may help improve the condition by increasing the drainage until the backup is gone. Lid scrubs can also be helpful to help rid of residual oil and improve resolution of the bump.
Antibiotic creams can be used for the ones that do not resolve with warm compresses and in more extreme circumstances e.g. if a chalazion becomes overly swollen steroid injections may be considered.
So if you think you have a chalazion simply book in for an eye test with any of our optometrists at your nearest 1001 Optical store. Our friendly optometrist will check the issue and rule out other underlying eye problems.
By Frank Zhang
Optometrist at 1001 Optical
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