Chalazion (chalazia for plural form) is a painless round lump that can be found on the inner eyelid.
It is caused by blockage of one or oil glands which secretes oil into our tear film to prevent drying of eye.
Chalazia are usually harmless but when too big, they can change the shape of our cornea and cause astigmatism.
Resulting in blurry vision.
Many chalazia resolve on their own within a month without treatment. However, there are times where ‘stubborn’ ones refuse to disappear. These chalazia may stay indefinitely or at worst enlarge over time.
Therefore, it is better to treat chalazia as quickly as possible to avoid them from staying put.
Warm compresses can help to promote drainage by softening the hardened oil that is blocking the exit.
Soak a clean washcloth in hot water and apply the warm (not hot!) cloth to the affected eyelid.
Re-soak the washcloth into the hot water once it is cooled.
Then reapply again.
Repeat this for 5 to 10 minutes, every night before you sleep.
If you find the process of re-soaking troublesome, consider using a hard boiled egg instead as egg shell retains heat much longer.
Additionally, massaging the affected area of the eyelid gently for several minutes each day may also help to loosen blockage.
Sometimes, the doctor may recommend injecting steroid (cortisone) into the affected area to reduce swelling.
However, steroid injection does come with a side effect that may be more problematic for dark skinned people. It whitens the skin around the injection.
Antibiotic eyedrops or ointments (such as erythromycin ointment or Azithromycin gel) may be prescribed if a bacterial infection is suspected to be present.
If nothing else works and the chalazion is large enough to affect vision, your eye doctor may need to perform a simple surgery in his office to drain the chalazion.
During the surgery, the eye surgeon will numb the affected area with local anesthesia.
Small incisions are made under the eyelid to extract the contents of the lump.
If a chalazion keeps coming back at the same location of the eyelid, the surgeon may suggest a biopsy to rule out tumorous growth.
If you are prone to chalazion, the following steps may prevent chalazion from hitting again.
This is especially helpful if you are prone to blepharitis (chalazion is a common after effect of this eyelid infection).
Pre-packaged or medicated disposable eyelid wipes are readily available in stores to provide a good eye scrub.
If you are tight on budget, soak a clean washcloth in warm water.
Apply some mild shampoo (preferably baby shampoo) to the warm washcloth and scrub your eyelids and eyelashes gently. Then rinse your eyes with warm water.
This action cleans the eyelids and helps to reduce or eliminate bacteria that cause blepharitis.
Nightly warm compresses helps to improve blood circulation and loosen the oil ducts thus preventing blockage.
Find a clean washcloth and soak in very warm water (not hot!). Apply the warm compress to your eyes.
Re-soak the washcloth in the warm water again after it is cool. If the act of re-soaking is too troublesome, use an unshelled hard boiled egg instead.
Firstly, avoid sharing anything that is related to your eyes or you can get eyelid infections from others.
Items such as eye makeups, cosmetic eye tools (such as lash curlers or eyelash combs), contact lenses, cosmetic lenses or contact lens solutions are all prohibited for sharing.
Secondly, clean and disinfect contact lenses thoroughly in the approved solution and wash your hands before handling them.
Good eye hygiene is crucial in preventing chalazion.
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