CHALAZION, MEIBOMIAN CYST
A Chalazion or Meibomian Cyst is a small lump or swelling in the upper or lower eye lids as a result of a blockage of the oil glands (Meibomian glands). The trapped oil secretions cause an inflammatory reaction, there is no bacteria involved, however; if left untreated an infection can develop. If a Chalazion is small it may resolve on its own. Your surgeon will recommend the best treatment for you.
- Warm compresses to the affected eye – Use a clean washcloth soaked in hot water (as hot as you can tolerate without burning the skin) and apply it to the eye lid. Repeat this treatment 5 times per day.
- Surgical drainage – Surgical drainage is the most effective method to relieve a Chalazion. This can be done in our rooms using local anaesthetic. Antibiotic ointment is applied after the procedure.
- Steriods and long term antibiotics are occasionally used for recurring Chalazions.
CYST AND STYE
A Stye and a Chalazion are often confused as the same thing as they look similar. A stye is however an infection of the eyelash follicle forming a red sore lump on the edge of the eyelid. Most styes will clear in a couple of days even if treatment is not received, however; they can spread to infect other eyelash follicles, and rarely the entire eye lid can be affected.
It is important not to rub, press or squeeze the stye as you may risk spreading the infection.
- Warm compresses to the affected eye – Use a clean washcloth soaked in hot water (as hot as you can tolerate without burning the skin) and apply it to the eye lid. Apply for 10 minutes and repeat this treatment 5 times per day. Remember styes are infectious so always wash you hands after applying the compress and wash the wash cloth separately to other household items.
- Antibiotics may be prescribed if the stye does not resolve on its own.
ECTROPION AND ENTROPION
Ectropion is the outward turning, or eversion of the eye lid and usually involves the lower eye lid and not the upper eye lid. This results usually from a loss of muscle tone and is commonly due to ageing, but can be present at birth. Symptoms include tearing of the eye, redness, dry eye, mucosal crusting.
Entropion is the inward turning, or inversion of the eye lid resulting in the eye lashes rubbing against the eye causing pain and irritation. If left untreated it can result in scarring, corneal ulcer and infection may develop.
Both Ectropion and Entropion may involve surgery to return the eye lid to its normal position. As with any surgery, there are risks that will be discussed with you by your surgeon.
EYELID INFLAMMATION – BLEPHARITIS
The term blepharitis is used when the skin of the eyelids becomes inflamed over a long period (chronic), which usually includes the portion of the eyelid where the eyelashes grow. The inflammation usually involves the oil glands near the base of the eyelashes as they malfunction and bacterial growth can then occur. Blepharitis is the most common disorder of the eye and is often the underlying reason for eye discomfort, redness and tearing. Other symptoms that may be experienced include; burning, itching, light sensitivity and an irritating, sandy, gritty sensation that is worse when you awake.
Blepharitis is a chronic condition for which there is no cure and requires longterm treatment to keep it under control. Self care using warm compresses (using a washcloth in water as warm as the eyelids can stand), eyelid massage and lid scrubs (with mild cleaner) are the most common treatment. Antibiotic and/or corticosteroid medications may also be necessary.