Do you or a loved one have problems with their eyes? Several conditions might affect your sight or level of comfort. For example, styes and chalazia are very similar non-serious health ailments that involve the eyes. A chalazion is a relatively painless lump in your eyelid. It can develop in the upper or lower lid as well as one or both eyes. While chalazia resemble styes, a chalazion is usually bigger and does not hurt. The condition is related to blepharitis and can develop at any age. However, the eye condition is not contagious. Keep reading to learn more about the symptoms of chalazia and possible treatments.
The gland may swell abruptly, but it puffs up gradually over the course of weeks in most cases. Besides swelling, the eyelid skin may appear red. Not only does redness occur around the surrounding eyelid ski, but it can also become inflamed along the palpebral conjunctiva, which is the tissue that lines that back side of your eyelid. If it spread beyond the borders of the chalazion, you may experience extensive redness and swelling.
Symptom: Visual Problems
Depending on the location and size of a chalazion, you may experience visual problems as a result. Since it can affect the lower and upper eyelids and occur in both eyes simultaneously, the extent of your visual problems can vary. However, blurred or double visions are symptoms of chalazia. You may notice your vision growing worse in general. Protrusion of the eye can also occur as a result of a chalazion. Children with blurred vision because of astigmatism will need a large chalazion treated more urgently. Young kids may also not realize they have blurred vision, which can lead to a reduction of vision because of abnormal development.
Symptom: Eye Drainage
Your eye may or may not drain because of a chalazion. If it does cause drainage from the glad, it might irritate other parts of your eye such as the conjunctival surface or the corneal surface. Along with drainage will be obvious redness.
Symptom: Eye Pain
When a chalazion first forms, you may experience eye pain. However, in general, it is a lump that is painless. It is hard to the touch and can grow to the size of a green pea. There may be an infection present if you have eye pain associated with inflammation.
Symptom: Fever, Headache, and/or Body Aches
If you experience flu-like symptoms and have a chalazion, then you should visit a doctor. Fever, headache, or body aches may be the sign of an infection. Other rare cases of chalazia may exhibit symptoms such as irregular skin around the eye, abnormal blood vessels, or a loss of eyelashes. Although these symptoms are uncommon, they can be signs of something more serious like eyelid cancer.
Treatment: Warm Compress
Applying a warm compress to your eyelid can help soften the oils in the blocked gland. In turn, this can reduce the swelling caused by a chalazion. Wet a washcloth with warm water and apply it to the infected area for about 10 minutes up to six times a day. This method can help the chalazion open up so the blocked pore can drain and heal faster. If it does not improve within a couple of days, contact a doctor for medical advice.
Treatment: At-Home Care
Never squeeze a chalazion; let it open up on its own. In fact, you should try to touch it as little as possible. If you must touch your eye at least wash your hands first. Avoid wearing eye makeup or using contact lenses until the condition is healed completely. Make sure your makeup brushes, contact lenses, and eyeglasses are always clean, too. You may not be able to avoid getting chalazia, but these at-home tricks can help you prevent it.
Treatment: Eye Drops or Creams
Drops or creams are a common treatment for conditions with the eyes. There are over-the-counter options including ointments or medicated pads. Your medical provider can prescribe medicated eye drops and creams as well. The doctor may recommend you massage the lump or scrub your eyelid a few times a day to help the healing process.
If you have tried at-home remedies and other treatments, a medical provider may recommend piercing the chalazion with a lance to drain it. You should never try to pierce a chalazion yourself. A corticosteroid injection can help the area heal. You and the doctor can discuss the risks involved with this minor procedure, but it is quite effective. Surgery may be required, but it depends on the severity of your condition. Contact your medical provider to have your eyes checked and tested. After diagnosis, a treatment plan can be formulated with the best possible outcomes.