Did mom ever warn you about rubbing your eyes too hard? When the hair follicles of your eyelashes sometimes itch, you should try to resist the urge to rub. It is much safer to relieve itchy lash irritation by applying a clean, warm water compress to the area, as it will open the pores and stimulate blood circulation. When you use your hand to rub your eye, the oil in the area gets moved from one shaft of hair to the next. In some instances the eyelid glands will become irritated and start to swell. Doctors believe that this is one possible cause of a common eye condition known as Chalazion.
Chalazion occurs when the gland at the edge of your eyelid becomes clogged from bacteria or debris. If one or more of the ducts that drain these glands is blocked, an oily, protective fluid called sebum that your eye glands create naturally will accumulate, and can potentially form a cyst on the eyelid.
Chalazion is actually a Greek word that refers to a "hailstone," and the name fits the condition well. A chalazion cyst is normally painless, but can grow to be a bit uncomfortable and look a mess. This condition may dissolve on its own, but the more stubborn cysts might require treatment from a doctor.
Chalazia vs. Styes
If you develop a lump on your eyelid, it is a pretty good indicator you may have the symptoms of Chalazion; however, it is best to have a doctor look at it. Chalazion cysts or Meibomian cysts are often mistaken for as styes, but there is a difference between these two conditions.
Patients who have an eye sty might complain that their eyelids feel bruised; they may also experience sensitivity to light. Symptoms such as eyelid tenderness and the feeling of heaviness may be felt two days prior to the growth on the eyelid.
If the eye sty becomes acute, a yellow plug that resembles a pimple can develop in the center of the abrasion. This condition is referred to by doctors as an Internal Hordeolum, and is caused by a storing of pus within the sty. Around the third day, it typically ruptures and pus drains. Unfortunately, not all types form a head, wherefore the infection of the gland continues to amass.
As mentioned, chalazion cysts sometimes disappear of their own accord, and sometimes they do not. If chalazion refuses to go away for good, your doctor may advise you to undergo outpatient surgery. The surgery and its procedure are pretty simple: The eyelid is injected with a local anesthetic; and after the anesthetic numbs the surface, the doctor will turn the eyelid over and make an incision on the inside. The chalazion is scraped away and drained. In some cases, a very small scar on the upper lid might remain and cause discomfort when the patient blinks.
After Chalazion Removal Surgery
Removing chalazia is an outpatient surgery normally performed by an ophthalmologist at an eye hospital. For most, this surgery will remove the chalazion permanently. Recovery after this type of surgery is generally easy, and minor discomfort will subside after a few days. During that time:
- Patients will need to avoid getting water in their eyes for up to 10 days after their surgery
- Makeup will be prohibited until after a 30 day resting period
- Patients will need to refrain from wearing contact lenses for up to 8 weeks, but can do so after this period
- A post-operative check-up will be scheduled three to four weeks after surgery to make sure it is truly gone