Have you ever rubbed your eye to find a sore, unusual feeling in one area? Upon looking in the mirror, you may brush off the discomfort and wait for it to go away on its own. While occasionally irritation can come and go, other times these growths can turn out to be styes, chalazions or eyelid lesions that require the attention of an eye specialist such as board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. William Segal.
Styes occur when an eyelash follicle become infected, causing a red, sore lump to form inside or near the edge of the eyelid. Eyelid tenderness and itchy, irritated, red eyes are symptoms of a stye. While styes look similar to pimples, it is important to avoid the temptation of popping them as they can potentially cause vision damage by infecting the eye.
Chalazions may occur as an after-effect of a stye. While styes are more common in children, chalazions occur most often from patients 30 to 50 years old. Contrary to styes, chalazions are not caused by infections. Rather, they are small lumps that form on the eyelid due to the blockage of oil secretions. The meibomian gland (oil-producing gland) becomes enlarged and can grow to become the size of a pea.
When styes and chalazions do not improve over time, antibiotic ointments, steroid injections, or surgical draining under local anesthesia may be recommended by Dr. Segal. In most cases, using a warm compression cloth each day to aid in unclogging the infected oil gland will facilitate drainage and healing. As recommended with many eye conditions, it is important to allow proper time and patience for healing.
Another common type of growth that causes discomfort and pain are eyelid lesions. Generally benign in nature, these lumps on or around the eyelid are caused by abnormal cell changes that result in redness, roughness, and swelling. Eyelid lesions may form as various sized white, brown or black pigmented masses; consistently observing the growth of the lesion is imperative. Surgical excision is generally used to remove benign growths. However, eyelid lesions can be an indicator of a more serious type of skin cancer caused by ultraviolet (UV) light exposure, such as basal cell carcinoma. Dr. Segal will extract a sample tissue from the abnormal cell mass in order to microscopically examine it to determine malignancy and proper treatment.
If you would like to learn more about chalazions, styes, or other eye conditions please call our office to schedule an appointment. Be sure to follow Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons on Facebook and Twitter for more information on eye news, facts, and our services.