One of the most common eyelid concerns we see in our oculoplastics practice is chalazia. These pesky growths are the result of blocked meibomian glands within the eyelids. These can occur on the upper eyelids or the lower eyelids. One of the keys to understanding why these occur is recognizing the vertical orientation of these eyelid glands.
Figure: Meibomian glands in the eyelid (American Academy of Ophthalmology)
When one or more of these meibomian glands get blocked, this can result in a lump in the eyelid. This can get tender, red, and irritated, or it may just be a firm nodule. Dr. Iyengar sees patients with these lesions everyday he is clinic and is able to resolve them nearly 99% with an approach that avoids an external scar. Patients are often referred to Dr. Iyengar from their ophthalmologist or dermatologist for these lesions after vertical massage and hot compresses don’t seem to work. A combination of antibiotics, steroids, and/or surgical excision of these eyelid lesions may be employed to resolve them. As many of our clients are concerned about a residual scar, there is a optimal time to address these growths surgically. If they are hot, tender, and irritated, oral antibiotics may help make the excision process more effective and comfortable.
Figure: Dr. Iyengar evaluating the eyelid of a physician colleague (dermatologist)