Eyelid Lumps & Bumps
The eye doctors at Bethlehem Eye Associates provide examination, diagnosis and treatment of Eyelid Lumps and Bumps such as chalazia and styes for patients of all ages. There are a number of different types of lumps and bumps patients can experience on their eyelids that might cause them concern. Within the upper and lower eyelids are some small oil producing glands. If one or more of these glands should become inflamed a small lump, called a chalazion, can form. A chalazion is an inflammatory reaction to trapped oil secretions in the eyelid rather than by bacteria, although it is possible that a chalazion can become infected from bacteria. It is easy to confuse a chalazion with a stye which is an actual infection of an eyelash follicle that usually forms a red, sore lump at the eyelid margin. Generally, chalazia point toward the inside of the eyelid whereas styes will point outward.
If you develop a chalazion there are several methods of treatment that we might recommend depending on the size and the symptoms you present to us. Sometimes if the chalazion is small and you have no symptoms it may simply resolve on its own. If the chalazion is large it may cause some blurriness of your vision in which case we may prescribe:
- Application of Warm Compresses by holding a clean washcloth that has been soaked in hot water against the closed eyelid for 5-10 minutes at a time, 3-4 times per day. By re-soaking the washcloth in hot water several times you can maintain its heat. By using warm compresses most chalazia will disappear with a couple of weeks. We may find it necessary to also prescribe an antibiotic to help things along.
- Surgical Excision or Incision is sometimes necessary for large chalazia as they often do not respond well to either or both warm compresses with or without antibiotics. By surgically opening the chalazion after any inflammation is reduced we are able to treat the large chalazia.
NOTE: The majority of chalazia respond quite well to the treatments described above. Some patients seem prone to recurrences of chalazia, often in the same location. If this occurs we may recommend a biopsy to rule out an underlying problem or a more serious problem.