FOCUS- Benign but uncomfortable, this condition of the eyelid requires appropriate care to prevent encystment.
• The causes
The chalazion results from an inflammation of sebaceous glands located in the eyelid and called the Meibomian glands. Their function is to secrete a fatty substance, the meibum. The latter enters into the composition of tear fluid to limit its evaporation and thus ensure the lubrication, hydration and protection of the eye. When this meibum becomes too thick, its excretion is impeded, it accumulates, the gland clogs and becomes inflamed.
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The chalazion grows in the thickness of the eyelid. It manifests itself first of all by discomfort and swelling of the eyelid, then by the appearance of a small red and painful lump. When severe, the chalazion can cause blurred vision and tearing. Greater sensitivity to light is sometimes associated. The evolution is of variable duration, ranging from a few days to several weeks. Favorable spontaneously in the majority of cases, it can also become complicated when the chalazion encysts or becomes infected.
– Eyelid massage. Associated with good eyelid hygiene, this gesture is often sufficient to ensure the disappearance of the chalazion. For greater effectiveness, the massage must be preceded by the application 3 to 4 times a day, for about ten minutes, of compresses soaked in hot water, masks or heated eye patches. It is done with the fingers from top to bottom for the upper eyelid and from bottom to top for the lower one, and ends with light pinches at the level of the start of the eyelashes. Then, it is necessary to clean the edge of the eyelids well using a compress soaked in physiological saline or an ocular cleaning solution.
– Additional medical treatment may be necessary. It involves applying eye ointment to reduce inflammation. Based on anti-inflammatory, these products can combine an antibiotic in their formula.
– Surgery is indicated when the chalazion is encysted (hard lump) or if it persists. Performed by an ophthalmologist, the procedure is performed under local anesthesia. To minimize the risk of scarring, the incision is usually made on the inner side of the eyelid.
– Wash your hands thoroughly before touching your eyes and afterwards.
– Have good hygiene: careful make-up removal in the evening, daily washing of the face including the eyelids.
– Do not use cosmetics that are too old.
– Regularly change bed linen, especially pillowcases.
– Put artificial tears in case of dry eyes.
– In the event of a recurrence, apply compresses soaked in hot water to the eyelids.
– The chalazion is not contagious, its origin not being infectious but inflammatory. However, it can become infected later.
– Certain factors seem to favor its recurrence: dry eyes, skin conditions (rosacea, atopic or seborrheic dermatitis), autoimmune diseases, diabetes…
– Never squeeze or try to puncture a chalazion yourself.
– Avoid makeup and contact lens wear until the chalazion is healed.