The eyelids sometimes develop small lumps due to blockage in the oil glands and this condition is referred to as Chalazion. It can usually develop on any region of the eyelid and it is not a serious condition. In most cases, there is even no need for any treatment and the problem will resolve on its own within few days. It is also not painful unlike the other forms of eye infections and you will not face too much inconvenience due to this condition. It is observed that people suffering from stye in the past can easily develop this condition and even advanced stages of stye lead to Chalazion. You need to be careful about this as the Meibomian glands that are responsible for keeping the eyes moist will get blocked during this condition. Even though it does not cause serious complications, it can lead to problems with vision in extreme cases. This is usually due to the bigger size of the lump and it can interfere with the normal vision in few cases. You need to visit your doctor at this stage and get the suitable treatment to reduce the symptoms.
Symptoms of Chalazion
- The most obvious symptom of this condition is the bump that can be seen on the eyelids. It can be formed on one eyelid or both depending on various factors. It is not contagious and it will not spread from the upper eyelid to the lower eyelid.
- The size of the bump will usually be small in the early stages and it may grow it size later depending on the intensity of the problem. Remember that this is not an infection even though it can be due to other infections of the eyes.
- It is common to notice swelling of the eyelids when you are suffering from this condition. In the same manner, the entire eye region may appear swollen when you are having a large bump on the eyelids. It will also make the eyelids tender and you can feel the lump when you tough the eyelids with your hands. However, it is not painful in most cases as this is not due to any infections.
- The lump is also not big enough to cause any problems and only in rare conditions, it can grow big and affect the normal vision. In this situation, surgical removal of the lump will provide immediate relief and there are very less complications of this condition.
- In some cases, the growth of the lump will be very slow and you may not notice any progress for many days. In other cases, the lump can develop quickly and even grow in size in quicktime. You will only begin to notice the problem when it results in swelling of the eyelids.
- You may also notice that it causes some irritation to the eyes as it touches the inner layer sometimes and this results in increased production of tears from the eyes. You need to be careful when you wipe the tears and avoid touching the lump with your hands as this can cause few complications in some cases.
- In very rare and extreme cases, you may notice symptoms for few months and this is the time you need to be worried and get medical treatment. In usual cases, it will be gone within few days without creating any complications.
- It is also not very common to lose eyelashes in the affected area. If you notice such symptoms, you need to get in touch with an eye specialist and discuss your problems.
- It can also cause vision blurriness in rare cases and this happens only when the size of the lump is too big to affect the normal vision. You need treatment at this stage as it can create few complications when you neglect the problem for a long duration.
Causes of Chalazion
- One of the most important thing you need to understand about Chalazion is that it is not an infection. However, remember that it can be the result of some eye infection like stye. It is also not contagious and you will not get this from one eyelid to another in most cases.
- The most common cause of this condition is the blocking of meibomian glands which produces oil and keeps the eyes moist. When it gets blocked, it leads to abnormal accumulation of oil in the glands and this causes the lump on the eyelids.
- You are more likely to get this condition when you are suffering from inflammation of the eyelids called blepharitis. This condition can remain for a long duration and eventually lead to chalazion.
- When you are not maintaining good hygiene, it will lead to clogging of the glands in the eye region and this will lead to chalazion in few cases. It is a good idea to wear protective eye gear when you are exposed to dusty environment or working in industries.
- Some types of skin inflammation can also cause this condition. When you have skin inflammation in the facial region, it can sometimes get into the eyes and lead to this problem. However, it is not very common and not everyone with skin inflammation will get chalazion.
- Few patients suffering from tuberculosis are likely to get this condition and this often happens due to weakening of the immune system in the body.
- In some cases, a viral infection can lead to chalazion and this will continue to affect as long as the virus is present in the body. When you are able to control the infection, the symptoms of chalazion automatically subside on their own without any hassles.
- In rare cases, you may be facing recurring chalazion and this should be a cause of concern. You need to take serious measures at this stage and get proper treatment as it may indicate some serious health complications in the body.
Diagnosis of Chalazion
In most cases, the physical examination of the eyelids will be more than enough to identify the condition. The only task that is important for the eye specialist is to differentiate this condition from other eye infections like stye which also affect the eyelids. However, when they pay attention to the symptoms, it becomes easy to identify this condition as this is not painful unlike other eye infections that affect the eyelids. Once this is done, they will be able to chart the best method for treatment that will give effective results in quick time.
Prevention of Chalazion
- It is not clearly possible to prevent this condition in any manner. However, you can take certain precautions that will help you to avoid it in future.
- Always ensure that you maintain proper hygiene and wash your hands before you rub your eyes. Remember that the bacteria and virus in the hands can infect the eyes and eventually lead to this condition in future.
- For this reason, it is always suggested to use a piece of soft cloth to wipe your eyes instead of using your hands. However, you should make sure that the cloth is clean and it does not harm your eyes in any manner.
- You should also be careful when you are wearing contact lenses and always buy them from reputed companies. When you are wearing hard contact lenses that last for a long time, you need to store them carefully and clean them with disinfectant before using them. For this reason, many people use soft lenses that can be disposed as this reduces the chance of getting eye infection.
- You need to understand that having some form of skin inflammation increases the chances of developing chalazion and you should treat them carefully before they reach advanced stages. When you are suffering from such conditions, you should approach an eye specialist and take precautionary measures to avoid chalazion in future.
- The first phase of treatment begins with using home remedies like warm compressions around the affected area. Remember that this condition usually subsides on its own within few days without any treatment and your doctors will wait for this phase in the initial days.
- If the symptoms are slightly severe, you may be prescribed eye drops or even creams that will reduce the lumps and give some relief in quick time. You will be able to use them for a few days and see if they are effective in reducing the symptoms of this condition.
- If this is not effective, you may be asked to go for surgical removal of the lump from the eyelids. Other than that, it is also possible to use injections to reduce the size of the lump in most cases. You can choose the best method suited for your condition after discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each method of treatment.
Complications of Chalazion
- It is not common to notice severe complications out of this condition and you need not panic when you are diagnosed with Chalazion. It is usually a mild condition that does not require medical treatment in most cases. You will often notice that it resolves on its own without any complications.
- In rare cases, the condition can lead to problems with the vision and this usually happens when the size of the chalazion is very large to affect the other regions of the eyes. However, you will also notice that when the chalazion is removed either surgically or when it resolves on its own, the vision problems also disappear and this does not cause any long term problems.
- It does not pain in most cases but it can cause irritation in the eye region. It may often lead to teary eyes and you will have to maintain proper hygiene to avoid this condition.
Myths Related to Chalazion
Myth #1: Chalazion is an infection:
This is not an infection like stye or other eye problems. Most people confuse this for an infection as the symptoms are often very similar and this condition also affects the eyes just like stye. However, chalazion can be the result of other eye infections and it is also noticed that having stye can lead to chalazion in future.
Myth #2: Chalazion is contagious:
This condition is not contagious at all and you will not get this from another person. You need not even worry about this condition spreading from one eyelid to another and it only affects the region where the oil glands are blocked in the eyelids.
Myth #3: Chalazion needs surgery:
This is completely false as surgery is used only in rare cases to treat chalazion. Even when it comes to surgery, it is not a major one and it is just restricted to physically removing the lump from the eyelids. It gives quick results and you will notice immediate reduction in symptoms after this treatment.
Myth #4: Chalazion and Stye are same:
Even though they have similar symptoms and both conditions affect the eyelids, they are different. While stye is an infection, chalazion is not and it is caused due to infection in some cases. It is also observed that having stye for a long duration can lead to developing chalazion in future.
Once you are having symptoms of chalazion, you should ideally wait for few days to see if it begins to subside as it usually does in most cases. In this period, you can try to use some home remedies and keep the affected area clean by washing your face. If this is not giving proper results and you notice any increase in symptoms like enlarging of the lump, you should approach your doctor and get suitable treatment. Even your doctors will initially prescribe some over the counter eye drops and other creams to reduce the symptoms of chalazion. When there is no proper reduction in symptoms, they will suggest surgery and this is done in rare cases when the size of the lump is very big and it starts affecting the vision. Remember that blurring vision caused by this condition in rare cases is temporary and it will come back to normal after you get treated for this condition. In this regard, there is no need to worry about long term complications of this condition.
Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) refers to a spectrum of eye-related problems caused due to continuous excessive use of computers and LED screens. Staring at a computer screen has become a daily routine for many of us. Work and pleasure both include using a computer or a tablet. Working on computers for long periods leads to pain in the eyes, strain and headache.
Why does CVS occur?
The mechanism of focus on a computer screen is far different from that of books. Books have to be focused a single time for reading. But the image on computer screen is being refreshed rapidly (40 – 60 times per second). So the eyes have to focus and defocus every time to see a new image clearly leading to strain. Apart from this main factor, other factors contributing to CVS are:
• Uncorrected spectacle power
• Inappropriate glasses
• Reduced blinking rate
• Wrong work posture
• Dry eyes
• Job stress
• Age (after forties, the focusing power of eyes decrease)
What are the symptoms of CVS?
Common symptoms of CVS include eye pain, strain, headache, blurred vision (especially when changing focus from near to distance), tired eyes, redness and discomfort.
How to prevent CVS?
Following measures are advised for prevention of CVS:
• The top level of screen should be at eye level to prevent undue stress on neck
• Dark background behind the computer screen
• Avoid placing any light source immediately behind the computer screen
• Workstation should be placed in such a way that the user is not facing an air conditioner or cooler
• Footrest on floor
• Maintaining proper posture during work
Tips for user
• Follow the simple rule of 20:20:20, i.e., after every 20 mins of computer work, look at distant target and blink 20 times in 20 seconds
• Regular small breaks after every 45 minutes to one hour of work if working for long hours
• Regular eye examination by ophthalmologist
How to detect CVS?
Detection of CVS requires detailed eye examination by an ophthalmologist with the following tests:
• Refractive error
• Dry eye status
• Convergence power
• Evaluation of arrangement of computer workstation
How to manage CVS?
CVS is managed as per its cause.
• Prescription and use of correct refraction
• Using anti-glare/ blue cut glasses
• Dry eye management
• Orthoptic exercises for convergence insufficiency
Take home message CVS is a common eye problem among computer users and warrants proper evaluation and treatment by an eye specialist.