Eye cyst is a common occurrence and often harmless. Chalazion is the medical term of the cyst formed in the upper or lower eyelids. Small bumps can form on the corner of eyelid due to blockage of free flow of gland material. This causes swelling of eyelid leading to a chalazion. Chalazion is neither a tumor nor causes any changes in vision. It does not require any treatment and it often heals on its own. If the cyst does not disappear after few days it may lead to an infection causing pain and oozing of pus from the eyes. Under such condition treatment is required.
Eyelid Glands :
There are several glands in both upper and lower eyelids. These glands are called by various names like meibomian glands or tarsal glands or palpebral glands. As part of lubricating function, these glands secrete a thick fluid that gets deposited into the tear film. This fluid is known as sebum which is nothing but lubricating oil and little of mucus. You can find many tiny openings of sebaceous glands at the back of your eyelashes.
Eye Cyst Causes :
When the sebaceous glands of the eyelids get clogged by debris or other materials, it disrupts the normal flow of lubricating oil into the eyelashes. This eventually results in back-pressure causing swelling of gland. The walls of the gland get thickened due to repeated deposits which lead to inflammation. Debris material along with thick fluid gets piled up to form a chalazion or eyelid cyst.
- It is quite common for many people to develop eyelid cyst or chalazion. Many factors can trigger lumps or cysts formation in the eyelids.
- Dirt particles or debris can enter your eyes blocking the tiny openings of the glands that secrete oily glands. In due course the oil with mucus gets clogged in the pores leading to cyst formation.
- Staph bacteria can cause infection in the eyes leading to formation of eyelid cyst. Poor hygiene of eyes, rubbing of eyes often with fingers, frequent changing of cosmetics, using dirty eye-lenses and not removing the make-up before going to bed can cause accumulation of dirt inside the eyes causing chalazion.
- Blepharitis is a kind of eye infection that can induce cyst formation in the eyelids.
- Some of the common signs of chalazion include redness and swelling of eyes, formation of lumps on the affected eyelids, fluid discharge from the eyes, eye crusting, itchiness and discomfort in the eyes with or without pain.
- One should not rub the eyes if it is itchy or painful. On doing so, symptoms get worse and the eyes can develop swelling. You should not touch the eyes with fingers since it can lead to infection.
Who Are At Risk ?
Anybody can develop chalazion or eyelid cyst. But certain factors given below can increase the risk. People who have earlier developed cysts, people with chronic skin issues, people who follow poor hygiene and those having problems in the secretion of oily glands are at high risk of chalazion.
Eyelid cysts are of many kinds.
- Stye is a kind of cyst formed in the eyes. It occurs due to infection producing symptoms like swelling of eyelids, redness, itchy feeling and pain. You can wait for couple of days to have improvement in symptoms failing which you need to check with your eye-doctor.
- Chalazia also known as meibomian cysts are forming of lumps or bumps on the upper or lower eyelids. Often stye infection leads to this condition wherein bacteria feed on the collected debris inside the eyelids. Your doctor would give suitable antibiotic eye-drops for clearing off chalazia. In severe cases he may cut open the cyst surgically to drain the abscess.
- Sweat gland cysts are shiny and round shaped cysts that are formed in the tear ducts.
- Another kind of eyelid cyst is keratosis which is formed due to keratin deposits in the tissues.
Your ophthalmologist would examine your eyes with a lighted instrument to check the intensity of development of cyst. No special tests are needed to diagnose the eyelid cyst. On closer examination of the eyes through microscope the course of treatment will be decided.
Eye Cyst Treatment :
- Very often chalazion needs no treatment. It is good to follow personal hygiene to prevent these kinds of eyelid cysts.
- Ensure that you are not touching your eyes with fingers and do not rub your eyes even it is itchy. By touching your eyes with fingers you are adding more bacteria into it thus spreading the infection.
- You can try using cold compression on your eyes. Dip soft clothing in cold water and simply place it on the affected eye for few minutes. You can also use warm compression that can remove the debris collection and even clears off the oily secretion inside. Repeat this simple home remedy several times a day until you feel comfortable. You can use moist wipes to remove the collected debris in the eyes.
- It is better to change to new set of cosmetics once your cyst has been removed. There is every chance that bacteria can be present in the cosmetic items and hence avoid using it.
- Do not share cosmetics and personal items with others.
- Wait for few days if the cyst is small and not painful by trying some of the home remedies. You can consult your optometrist if the eyes are painful since it can be due to infection.
- Your doctor would prescribe antibiotics (eye-drops) to get rid of bacterial infection. If needed, she may also give oral antibiotics for a week.
- In severe cases, eyelid cyst would be removed surgically.
- Eyelid cysts respond well to treatment and even without treating, it would wade off within few days.
- There is every possibility for the infected person to get repeated infection. It is essential for them to follow personal hygiene.