The painless, swollen, red bumps or cyst like growths on the eyelids, are known as chalazion or chalazia in plural. These are very common in people. They occur around the edges of the eyelids.
What is Chalazion Eye?
The chalazion is a lump or cyst that is bumpy and appears on the eyelid. Usually it occurs due to an obstruction that is caused to the drainage duct of an oil gland that lies within both upper and lower eyelid. The gland involved in the formation of the chalazion is the meibomian gland or a modified oil gland. The function of these glands is to secrete oil into your tears. At times, within days or weeks, these lumps increase in size. They can even become warm, red; but hardly painful.
Signs and Symptoms of Chalazion Eye
The usual signs and symptoms of Chalazion eye are –
- a hard lump on your eyelid.
- lumps are usually painless.
- tenderness around the eyelid.
- sensitivity to light.
- they stay swollen for about a few days.
- occasionally the bumps are huge enough to blur or block vision.
- watery eyes or increased tearing.
Causes of Chalazion Eye
About 30 to 40 meibomian glands are present around the edges of both the eyelids. Through a small circular opening, these glands secrete oil that goes into the tears. When the oil becomes too thick to come out of the small opening, it blocks the gland. Even dust or foreign particles can block the gland if the eye is not cleaned properly or touched frequently by hand that is not cleaned. As a result, the oil failing to find a way out, builds up a cyst like lump on the eyelids.
Difference Between Styes and Chalazia
Both are lumps or bums on the eyelids. However, the styes often develop on the edge of the eyelid and the chalazia are formed away from the edge into the eyelid. Styes are often associated with infection of the oil glands and hence, the lumps are often red, warm, and painful and they also swell. The chalazia are formed due to blockage in the passage of the oil and are mostly painless.
Diagnosis of Chalazion Eye
Although you have known about the difference between the styes and the chalazia, whether yours is a chalazion eye or not, needs to be diagnosed by a doctor. Usually the doctor clinically diagnoses the lumps of the eyelids. If it is hard, it is diagnosed as chalazion eye. However, at times, the lumps can be fluid filled and softer. The associated symptoms will help the doctor to diagnose the character of the lump.
Treatment of Chalazion Eye
Antibiotics and steroid eye drops are often given by the doctors to treat chalazion faster. However, they also disappear on their own, with time.
If the chalazion does not disappear within a month or if they recur, the doctor will surgically remove it. It is also important to conduct a surgery in case your vision is blocked by the chalazia. Without making a visible scar, the doctor or eye surgeon will make a small incision right underneath the eyelid and help the blockage to drain out. In some cases, the doctors also use corticosteroid injections. They too help in draining out the blockage, however, the surrounding area may become lighter in tone and this is a problem for dark-skinned people.
Home Remedies for Chalazion Eye
There are many useful home remedies and preventive measures that are very effective on chalazion.
As soon as a twinge is felt in the eyelids, warm compress must be applied on the lump of the eye. It reduces the pain and swelling and also increases the blood flow. As a result, the drainage of the gland is promoted. You need to soak a cloth in warm water and squeeze out any excess water. The piece of cloth should be held on the chalazion for about 5 to 10 minutes and this should be repeated three to four times a day for about a fortnight.
These leaves have a great anti-inflammatory factor. Applying them on the chalazion will reduce the pain and swelling. For this, you need to microwave a few leaves for a few seconds, after washing them, to make them warm. The microwaved, warm leaf needs to be placed in a piece of clean dry cloth and placed on the swollen eyelid. As the leaf cools down, replace it with another. This procedure must be continued until 5 to 6 leaves are used, twice a day.
Apple cider vinegar:
The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of apple cider vinegar have been reported as one of the most useful home remedies for treating chalazion eye. Adding 2 teaspoons of unfiltered, raw and organic apple cider vinegar to a cup of hot water and compressing the cyst with this liquid with the help of a cotton ball will reduce the inflammation, pain or any infection possible.
The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of acacia leaves are useful for reducing swell and pain associated with chalazion eye. Boiling a few acacia leaves in water and then reducing the temperature of the water to a warm state is needed at first. Then soaking cotton balls in this water and compressing the cyst will help.
Yet another effective ingredient that can be used to reduce pain and swelling associated with chalazion eye is castor oil. After warm compressing of the cyst, you can apply a few drops of castor oil on the cyst with the help of a cotton ball. You can also add a pinch of turmeric to make a thick paste and then apply it on the eye. This will decrease the size of the cyst significantly within a short span of time.
Preventing Chalazion Eye
- Do not rub eyes without cleaning your hands. This can infect the eyes with bacteria.
- Remove eyeliner, mascara and any other eye makeup regularly, as they can block the oil glands.
- Replace your eye makeup in every 6 months as bacteria can grow in them.
- While doing works that can produce dust, protect your eyes by wearing protective eye gears.
- Treat any infection and inflammation of the eye at once.
- Wash your eyelids with mild baby shampoo and water, if your chalazion recurs.
Complications of Chalazion Eye
Chalazion Eye is a very usual occurrence that can happen to anyone, regardless of age and gender or even race. Usually they are absolutely harmless and also disappear on their own, without any treatment, with time. However, if the problem recurs, especially at the same spot, the doctor will send the removed tissue to the laboratory to check if there is a possibility of any complication.
With simple prevention methods, one can prevent the occurrence of chalazion. However, if it has already occurred, one can simple follow the home remedies which should cure a chalazia. If the problem persists even after a few weeks or recurs, get a check done by a healthcare professional.