Some eye diseases progress slowly and have few symptoms in the early stages. Other conditions make themselves known and can be quite bothersome. For example, a chalazion can have an unsightly appearance and affect your vision. Here's a look at what causes this condition and how it's treated.
What Causes A Chalazion
A chalazion develops due to a clog in an oil gland on your eyelid. You can have a chalazion on an upper or lower lid. This condition sometimes follows a stye which is a bacterial infection of an oil gland. However, an infection is not always necessary for a chalazion to form. A chalazion is a bump that can be tiny or grow large enough to interfere with your vision.
The bump can be tender, but it usually isn't painful. A chalazion can be distinguished from a stye because a stye is much more painful. A chalazion might be red and drain fluid. When it gets large enough, it can press on your eye and cause blurry vision.
How A Chalazion Is Treated
When you develop a bump on your eyelid, even if it isn't painful, you should see your eye doctor to have it diagnosed and rule out other conditions such as cancer. However, in most cases, home treatments will clear up a chalazion. Apply a warm washcloth to your eye several times daily to encourage the blocked gland to drain and the chalazion should heal within several days to several weeks.
Sometimes, a chalazion can get large or refuse to drain, and if that's the case, your eye doctor may drain or remove the chalazion surgically so its size doesn't interfere with your vision or cause other problems. Since a chalazion isn't an infection, antibiotics are not usually prescribed. However, your eye doctor might prescribe other medications that reduce swelling and encourage the chalazion to drain.
How To Prevent A Chalazion
If you've had a chalazion, it's possible you might have another one. Some people tend to get them repeatedly. You're more likely to have them often if you have rosacea or dry skin around your eyelids. You may be able to prevent the return of the eye condition by applying warm compresses daily and by using an ointment prescribed by your eye doctor. Clean the base of your eyelids daily to remove scaly skin and other debris so it won't clog your glands.
Although a chalazion is not usually a serious eye disease, it can be very bothersome since it affects your appearance. A large red bump can make you feel self-conscious and you'll want to avoid covering it with makeup since that will clog the gland further. Don't try to drain the bump yourself at home. Seek help from an eye doctor, such as Leone Nicholas MD PC, who can prescribe the right treatment to help the chalazion heal as quickly as possible.