Chalazion Causes – What Causes a Chalazion?
Learning about chalazion causes is a top priority for many who suffer from this condition. Individuals who suffer from chalazions know the degree of anxiety they can bring.
The nodules that usually appear in the upper eyelids of an individual may not matter much at first, in fact, it’s not even painful. But when it begins to enlarge and starts to look like tiny horns popping up from your eyelids, it becomes more debilitating with each passing day.
Effects of a Chalazion
We say debilitating because it’s a cosmetic disfigurement that affects the confidence level of an individual. Who likes to walk around with little bumps on their eyelids that many people mistake as contagious? And when one is different from everyone else as far as looks are concerned, it can put the individual in an awkward position.
For young people, the presence of chalazia can make one the object of ridicule and cause withdrawal while for more mature individuals chalazia can severely reduce confidence levels, affects one’s chances of getting a job, marrying the man or woman of one’s dreams, or causing them to be at the receiving end of jokes from friends or peers.
Chalazion Causes, Signs, and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of a chalazion include eyelid swelling and tenderness, sensitivity to light, more frequent tearing and heaviness of the eyelid. A chalazion tends to point towards the nose. In some cases, the eyelid may even swell suddenly.
Chalazion causes vary, but they are basically caused by a blockage or obstruction of the ducts in the meibomian glands. These glands are responsible for lubricating the film of tears with lipid material — a combination of oil and mucus. Oil flows from the gland through minute circular openings present behind the lashes of the upper and lower eyelids.
When the oil becomes too thick, it cannot penetrate through the tiny holes and thus clogs up. Eventually, it builds up resulting in a lump in the eyelid. The oil later leaks and inflames both the gland and the eyelid. This enlargement is what is called a chalazion.
While a chalazion can occur out of nowhere, it is also common for them to develop after a stye since they are a secondary type of inflammation. Individuals with a penchant for chalazia are also those who have recurring styes. The build up of residue from inflammatory cells after infection of the eyelid with styes or other conditions like preseptal cellulitis are another of the more popular chalazion causes.
Compared to a stye, however, chalazia are not caused by bacterial infection. Whereas styes eventually become tender, swollen and develop an opening where pus can later drain out, chalazia may appear tender and swollen only at first. Later on, it simply becomes a round mass measuring anywhere from 2 to 8 mm in diameter. They are generally painless and are usually benign by nature.
However, when the chalazion has grown large enough to distend into the endings of the sensory nerve, an individual may experience pain. Furthermore, a chalazion that has grown in size enough to put pressure on the cornea will cause induced astigmatism. As a result, an individual can experience blurred vision. And while benign in most cases, a patient with recurring chalazia is usually advised to get a biopsy done on the node to determine if it is cancerous or not.
There are a number of conditions that predispose one to the development of chalazion. Called risk factors, these conditions increase your chances of developing these meibomian cysts. Chronic blepharitis or the bilateral inflammation of the eyelids that can result in scarring is one factor. Rosacea or the chronic condition characterized by erythema (or redness) and seborrhoeic dermatitis or an inflammatory skin disorder affecting the scalp are also two other factors that can incite the development of chalazion. Even pregnancy and diabetes mellitus can also spawn the growth of chalazion on one or both eyes. Interestingly, hand hygiene matters a lot as dirty hands which are often brought into the eyes can start the gradual process of chalazion development.
Depending on the size and severity of the chalazion, certain medical and alternative chalazion treatment approaches are often recommended to treat it. In some cases, a chalazion is resolved without treatment. For milder cases, some doctors recommend the application of warm compresses while smaller chalazion lesions are injected with corticosteroids. But for larger chalazia which do not respond to these methods, the usual approach taken by modern medicine is through surgical excision.
Homeopathy, however, proposes the non-surgical removal of chalazion. Characterized by drinking highly-diluted homeopathic remedies for a period of two to five months, this is a non-invasive way of permanently curing chalazia, says adherents and experts of the field. These remedies are said to pose no side-effects and cures chalazia from within. As a result, homeopathy is said not only to heal the condition but one’s predisposition to chalazion and stye formation as well. Since treatment does not involve surgery or injection, it is generally pain-free and convenient. Unlike the surgical approach, however, where a reduction of the nodule is evident after the operation itself, chalazion homeopathy produces gradual results only after a month or so. A full course treatment could last as long as five to six months.
Chalazion Help – Tips and Advice
With the advent of newer technologies and more alternatives to treatment, chalazion is more manageable now than ever before. However, as the old adage says: An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
Washing your hands with soap and water or alcohol after using the bathroom or handling objects, pets or food is often the most effective way of preventing styes and other eye infections that usually precede a chalazion. However, in the event that you’ve already developed a fever, headache, blurry vision, eye pain or swelling of one or both eyelids, it is prudent to seek medical advice immediately. After consultation, it is also good practice to follow his or her instructions to the letter to cure the condition.
A chalazion, whether caused by a blockage of meibomian gland ducts or as a secondary inflammation after preceding eye infections, should not anymore hold the same stigma it did. Regardless of the chalazion causes, they can be cured.