Many people have experienced tender and swollen eyelids – perhaps as the result of an allergy – but in some cases, irritated eyelids may actually point to a more serious condition called a chalazion. According to the American Optometric Association, a chalazion is a “slowly developing lump that forms due to blockage and swelling of an oil gland in the eyelid.” After the initial symptoms of red, tender and swollen eyelids, a chalazion can grow to the size of a pea and is typically found on the upper eyelid. Unlike a sty, a chalazion is not an infection; instead, the AOA suggests that it results from a blockage of the oil gland. When the oil builds up inside the gland, it forms a lump. In some cases, the lump may break open and cause the eyelid to become inflamed.
Other common signs of a chalazion include blurred vision (if the lump is large enough) and tearing. People between the ages of 30 and 50 are most at risk for this condition and should schedule a comprehensive eye examination with a doctor if they suspect they may have a chalazion. Fortunately, most chalazions heal on their own within a month, but the process can be aided by applying a warm compress to the eye to encourage draining. If the area does not seem to be improving within a few weeks, it is important to contact your True Dental Discounts eye doctor and have it professionally cared for. Like most minor conditions, chalazions can become a more serious issue if left untreated.