A chalazion is a bump in the eyelid that occurs due to the swelling of an oil gland. Though the condition is most prevalent in adults between the ages of 30 and 50, it can occur in children as well. Fortunately, our doctors at Monterey County Eye Associates in Monterey, CA provide chalazion treatment for patients of all ages. Today, we will discuss chalazia in children, and how therapies in pediatric eye care can address the condition and alleviate discomfort.
Symptoms of a Chalazion
Fortunately, a chalazion is typically not accompanied by pain or discomfort. Symptoms can vary significantly for each individual. They can include:
- A palpable bump inside the eyelid
- Difficulty seeing (if the chalazion is significant in size)
- Gradual swelling of the eyelid
It should be noted that if a chalazion goes untreated, it may become swollen and painful. If this occurs, it is a good idea to schedule an ophthalmological consultation as soon as possible. Remind your child to wash his or her hands frequently, and avoid touching or squeezing the area.
What Causes a Chalazion?
A chalazion occurs as a result of a blocked oil gland within the eyelid. There can be a number of reasons a child develops the condition. Common risk factors include:
- Viral infection
- Bacterial infection
- Acne rosacea
- Chronic blepharitis
Diagnosing a Chalazion
Extensive eye tests are not typically necessary to diagnose a chalazion. Your doctor will most likely discuss your child’s family and health history at length, and will perform a simple and quick physical examination.
Fortunately, chalazia diminish in size and resolve themselves most of the time. However, it can take months for the condition to fully go away. Applying a warm compress to the troublesome area is beneficial, as it encourages drainage of the blocked gland.
You may also administer anti-inflammatory eye drops or ointment to help reduce inflammation. Additionally, your doctor can provide your child with oral antibiotics, particularly if the condition was caused by an infection of the surrounding tissues.
Occasionally, an injection into the chalazion will be necessary. Extremely large and persistent chalazia may require surgical intervention. Though this last-resort option is rare, it can be performed on children if necessary under general anesthesia.
Chalazia vs Sties
The terms “chalazion” and “stye” are often used interchangeably. Though they appear quite similar in nature, they are different. A stye develops as the result of an infected oil gland, while a chalazion is the accumulation of oil in the eyelid from a blocked gland.
How to Prevent Chalazia
One of the most effective ways to prevent chalazia from developing is to adopt a daily hygiene regimen that includes gently cleaning the eyelids daily. This can be completed with the use of pre-moistened eyelid wipes or baby shampoo. This routine is especially important if your child has blepharitis, or chronic inflammation of the eyelids. If your child experiences frequent relapses, a topical or oral antibiotic can be prescribed for your convenience.
Learn More about Chalazion Treatment
If your child is prone to developing chalazia, ask a team member how we can help you prevent and treat this condition efficiently. As always, we are here to answer any questions you may have regarding treatment. We take pride in providing unparalleled eye care for your entire family. To speak with a team member, or to make an appointment, call our office at (831) 375-2020 or contact us online anytime.