Eye Stye/Chalazion/Meibomian Cyst: What, Why and How

Published on 16 May 2016 / by: Tan

What is it?

First things first, what the heck is it? It is actually sebum/oil/dirt and all the nasty stuff that are stuck inside and cannot make its way out. It gathers and forms a lump. A more more detailed explanation according to

A chalazion is a lump of the lid that is caused by obstruction of the drainage duct of an oil gland within the upper or lower eyelid. This lump may increase in size over days to weeks and may occasionally become red, warm, or painful.

I first realized it early last year. My left lower lid appeared swollen and red. It was quite painful when touched. On the same eye, I also noticed a lump on my upper eyelid near the inner corner. This other one was neither swollen nor painful. I had it checked by an optometrist. He gave me some kind of eye drop called Polydex. It didn’t go away after about a week so I had it checked again. He suggested that I do the incision. Just the thought of it made me shiver so I chickened out.

I went to another optometrist to get a second opinion. She gave me another strip of Polydex. She mentioned that it would only cure the swollenness, not remove it; the only way to remove it was through incision. She also said if it didn’t bother me that much, I should just leave it because it was benign. The redness and swollenness disappeared after a few weeks, but the lump never did. Every now and then, the lump would get swollen and red again. Then, I would use Polydex to the rescue. It usually goes away in a week or two. However, at one time, it was swollen again. The swollenness didn’t go away for over a month. It also seemed like it had gotten bigger than before. A wake up call to see the optometrist again.

It turned out that I had one on my upper left lid as well and it was already hardened. The only way to remove it was through the incision. It is just small surgery, but still… In over one and a half year, I have seen five different optometrists back and forth regarding this bloody thing. They all agree on one thing, the incision. As much as I hate the idea, I succumbed to the fact that I need to get the incision.

Why is it?

Nobody knows the exact cause of why the obstruction occurs, but I can tell you these: 

  1. If you have oily skin, you are more prone to it (obviously).
  2. If you have had it before, it is highly likely that you will get it again.
  3. Your eye hygiene is crucial in preventing it, especially you girls who wear eye make up and/or contact lenses.
  4. For me, it is like a pimple.

How to treat it?

It is best to prevent it. Make sure you clean every corner of your eyes. You can further clean your eyelids and eyelashes with baby shampoo or blephagel. Sometimes eye makeup remover is not enough and it contains a lot of chemicals that may create the obstruction too. And never, ever ever ever, sleep overnight with your eye make up on. However, if you are too late to prevent it, here are some tips:

  1. Put a hot (warm) compress on your lids for a few minutes everyday for two to three times.
  2. Get Polydex to help minimize the swollenness but keep in mind that you cannot use it for more than a few weeks. It may cause other undesirable eye problems in the long run.
  3. The incision is necessary only if other methods are ineffective or if it is very visible.

Check out this link for the incision story.

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