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Among the most common inflammatory eye pathologies, a chalazion, which is caused by an obstruction in a group of glands, stands out. Find out how to prevent and treat it.

Latest update: April 17, 2023

Eyelid swelling is often very annoying and makes everyday life difficult. In that sense, a chalazion is one of two conditions that, in most cases, cause these small eyelid bumps. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

This change is described as a small inflammatory process that originates in the eyelid and is usually accompanied by redness. It also results from occlusion or non-infectious obstruction of the ducts of the meibomian glands.

The Meibomian glands are small sebaceous structures located behind the eyelid and are responsible for the secretion of lipids that lubricate the eye. Therefore, any change that increases the amount or viscosity will increase the risk of developing a chalazion.

Differences between a chalazion and a stye

A stye is an acute and painful bulge in the eyelid due to an infectious process or the complication of another pathology, such as blepharitis. In contrast, patients with a chalazion rarely feel pain or tenderness all around, and the origin is usually non-infectious.

In addition, styes are located at the level of the palpebral rim, due to occlusion of the glands of Zeiss or Moll. The Chalazion on the other hand is located usually in the eyelid by occlusion of the meibomian glands.

Styes often cause inflammation of the entire eyelid and resolve spontaneously in less than a week. A chalazion, on the other hand, rarely causes general swelling of the eyelid and resolves in 2 to 8 weeks.

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Causes of chalazions

Styes are caused by obstruction of glands other than the meibomian glands, which cause chalazions.

The bulging of a chalazion is formed by the retention of lipid secretions from the Meibomian glands through an obstruction of their excretory ducts. This occlusion is of inflammatory origin, due to a direct alteration or dysfunction of the glands.

The main causes are:

  • Dusty environment
  • Acne rosacea
  • Dysfunction of the glands
  • Seborrhoea
  • Fear
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Diabetes
  • allergies

The infectious etiology must, however cannot be ruled out, despite its low frequency. It is estimated (Spanish link) that the main causative agents of eye infections belong to the staphylococcal family.

Symptoms of a chalazion

A chalazion is characterized by the presentation of a palpable and non-painful lump or lump in the upper or lower eyelid. Initially, it usually appears as a general swelling of the eyelid, which settles in the center or body of the eyelid after a few days.

It is also usually accompanied by redness and a feeling of warmth in the area. In addition, depending on its size and location, it can invade the cornea and alter vision, causing eye strain and blurred vision.

Medical treatment

Therapeutic treatment is aimed at controlling the symptoms and guiding the favorable evolution of the chalazion. In this sense, specialists recommend the use of warm compresses on the area for 5 to 15 minutes, 2 to 3 times a dayto try to clear the obstruction.

On the other hand, the doctor may opt for the administration of corticosteroids, such as cortisone or triamcinolone, if it is large, not very aesthetic, and persists for more than 2 weeks. In addition, if it does not resolve and the visual symptoms worsen, curettage and surgical drainage can be performed under local anesthesia.

The use of antibiotics is tthe specialist’s assessment if the lesion is of infectious etiology. Only the doctor is able to determine the pros and cons of each drug.

Also read this article:
5 Simple Tricks For Treating Styes

Tips for caring for a chalazion

Applying topical medications is possible if the doctor prescribes it, but antibiotics are reserved for confirmed infections.

Home care focuses on maintaining eyelid hygiene and using methods that help unblock the blocked glandular ducts. Can do that we apply wet compresses a few times a day and massage techniques on the bump.

The first thing to do is wash both hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching the area. Then proceed to making small circular movements with the fingertips of the index or middle finger for up to 5 minutes.

It is important to avoid applying pressure or rubbing for a long timeas that can promote inflammation and infection of the area, making symptoms worse. Also, the use of any topical or oral pharmacological agent should be under strict medical supervision.

Tips for prevention

The occurrence of this condition can not always occur especially if you have a predisposition to this kind of pathology. Nevertheless, it is important to apply preventive measures. The following instructions, among others, are important:

  • Proper hand hygiene.
  • Periodic cleansing of the face.
  • Take care of the health of all elements that come into contact with the eyes, such as glasses.
  • Follow a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Likewise, when suffering from eyeball glandular pathologies, it is important to keep them under the supervision, management and treatment of a medical specialist.

Chalazions are common

Eye pathologies are usually a very frequent reason for consultation in ophthalmology, so it is important not to underestimate the appearance of lumps or bumps on the eyelid. A chalazion may indicate a systemic process or a complication of another condition.

The specialist is the only one qualified to identify, distinguish and adequately treat eye disorders and their consequences. That is why it is advisable to go to a specialist as soon as possible in case of complaints. Perhaps also interesting for you

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