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Chalazion Cyst – What is a Chalazion Cyst?

So, what is a chalazion cyst? The word ‘cyst’ does not fail to evoke feelings of fear and dread, and in many cases, the uncertainty that comes with thinking that a cyst may be cancerous or not is always part and parcel of being told that you have a cyst in a certain part of your body.

A cyst, however, is generally benign by nature. Only in rare instances has it been associated with serious infections or malignancies.

Cysts 101

In simplest terms, a cyst is any lump that grows on any part of the body. It’s typically a closed sac that is not part of the organ or tissue or any other body part on which it is found, and this is the reason why cysts scare a lot of people. Cysts can contain semi-solid, liquid or gaseous substances and can be caused by tumors, infections or inflammatory conditions that are chronic in nature. They can also be genetic or may also be caused by simple blockages in the flow of bodily fluids.

Cysts can occur to anyone regardless of age. They can even be seen in the embryo as it develops.

For women, feeling a lump on the breast can be a very scary experience as it could signal a bout with breast cancer. Only by visiting a doctor can a determination be made if a cyst is anything but benign.

Cysts can also be found in the ovaries, kidneys, thyroid glands, tendons, joints and sebaceous glands of the skin. Cysts that are not palpable by the hand are usually first seen through X-rays, CT scans or MRIs Magnetic Resonance Imaging studies. In these cases where cysts are not readily apparent, the patient may have exhibited signs and symptoms that can prompt a health care professional to order imaging studies in order to determine the extent of the problem and find the appropriate solution.

What is a Chalazion Cyst?

One type of cyst that does not need any form of imaging studies because it is readily apparent is a chalazion. A “chalazion cyst” (chalazia, if there are many) develops when the drainage duct of the meibomian glands gets clogged or obstructed and the oil that it is supposed to secrete and lubricate the film of tears cannot find a way out. As a result, the oily material builds up, thickening the walls of the gland. This localized swelling is what is known as a chalazion cyst.

Chalazion Cyst Symptoms

Chalazion CystA chalazion cyst develops rather gradually — over the course of a matter of weeks, in fact. Depending on whether the upper or lower eyelid is affected, swelling will become evident, with a lump occurring near the edge of the eyelid that is affected. Tenderness also occurs, with the eyelid being very sensitive to touch. Sensitivity to light is another symptom as well-lit surroundings can become too blinding for the person with chalazion. Moreover, the chalazion can weigh a person’s eyes down, making it difficult for him or her to keep his or her eyes open for long periods of time.

When the chalazion cyst has grown so large that sensory nerves get affected, pain can be felt, although smaller chalazia are normally painless lesions. Moreover, when the chalazion impinges on the cornea, it can cause vision problems. When nothing is done about a chalazion cyst over time, vision loss becomes imminent.

Chalazion Cyst Treatment

When left untreated, many chalazia go away after a few months. In some cases, the chalazia will burst and drain the fluid inside it. However, when this does not happen, the first line of treatment to alleviate chalazia are home remedies which can include putting warm compress over the eyes for about five to ten minutes three to four times a day and massaging the affected area around the eyelid for about a minute. The latter is done for relief from pain and to reduce swelling.

In cases where home remedies provide no cure, doctors can also prescribe antibiotic eye drops or ointments as a chalazion treatment. As a last resort, the chalazion cyst is often removed through the injection of corticosteroids into the affected area or surgical removal. The method used is determined by the size of the chalazion. Smaller lesions respond well to the injection of steroids while larger ones require patients to go under the knife, usually under local anesthetic. Children are usually given general anesthesia to ensure that they don’t move and damage the fine tissues of the eye through inadvertent movement.

There are also homeopathic remedies for chalazion. This is the option chosen by those who can wait for a longer time period (usually two to five months) before the results of the remedy can kick in. It’s also the option chosen by those who do not want to go under the knife. There are no injections or surgeries with chalazion homeopathy and no side-effects from medication as well. When the right homeopathic treatment is given, a chalazion cyst is not only treated, an individual’s propensity for sty and chalazion development is also remedied. As a result, say homeopaths, these conditions are prevented from recurring in the future.

There are online homeopathic doctors who seek to provide chalazion treatment by simply letting patients answer an online consultation form. If you are unsure about homeopathic alternatives but want to try it out, you can always check with your ophthalmologist first or seek out a homeopathic physician in your area rather than going the online route.

Chalazion Cyst Prevention

If you are prone to chalazion cysts or styes, hand and eye hygiene is of paramount importance. Hands should be kept clean so that they don’t transmit dirt and bacteria, both of which can cause eye infections like styes when rubbed on your eyes. That being said, it’s always a good idea to avoid rubbing your eyes alltogether.

Take the time to clean your eyelid with mild soap and a clean cloth soaked in warm water. Be sure to avoid sharing make up with others and make sure to remove cosmetics, especially eyeliner and eye shadow, at the end of each day. This is a last but important preventive measure to keep a chalazion cyst from occurring.