Eyes, the window to the soul, the oft-voiced quotation, eyes are incredibly important, a determiner of beauty requiring the greatest of care. So if you detect a little lump on the outside or underside of your eyelid, don’t ignore it.
Twenty Twenty Vision
Chances are, it is probably trivial and insignificant but anything that could impair your vision or damage the delicate eye structures demands prompt attention. A doctor, nurse or ophthalmologist will review details like the colour, is it a red or a white lump and texture? Is it an itchy lump or sore? Resist the temptation of typing a description into the search bar of Google. Certainly, don’t put any medicine in your eye without a diagnosis, just source knowledgeable medical help pronto.
Found a hard lump under your eyelid?
Likely a Meibomian Cyst or Chalazion, occasionally mistaken for a Stye. The location of the former is quite specifically different from the latter. The eye has a gland, the Meibomian gland. A lump emerges if this becomes blocked. It feels hard and uncomfortable increasing the temptation to rub your eye. It is accompanied by inflammation so the lump is red. Harmless yet unsightly and irritating, these cysts resolve through the passage of time.
They can host to infection easily treatable with a standard prescription of Chloramphenicol, a topical antibiotic, repeated at intervals if the cyst endures. Sufferers may intervene to help the cyst to deconstruct by employing warm pads to gently soften and disperse the contents. These hard lumps under the eyelid can be removed surgically if they stubbornly persist, causing ongoing discomfort and recurrent outbreaks of infection.
Is a lump on the outside of the eyelid dangerous?
Commonly these are innocuous lumps called Styes or Stys, like a spot in reality. The medical terminology is Hordeolum. Just as your skin pores become clogged with oil and dirt, so the minute glands around your eyelashes can follow suit. Bacteria multiply, like acne on your face or a regular pimple. A Stye on your eyelid may not be painful but they can turn nasty, sore and gungy and boy, can they itch.
Rubbing your eyes is a good way to build a stye in the first place. Home remedies work like a charm for styes. A warm, clean flannel can gently bring the stye to a head expressing and eliminating the pus. Eyes crusty with exudate can be gently cleaned. Wipe your eyelids with warm water and cotton wool pads (not balls which leave fibres) twice daily. Use a warm teabag, a great old wives’ tale. Reduce the use of makeup and contact lenses and take particular care not to spread the infection to your other eye or to other people in the household via a towel. If the stye is stubborn or increases in size, this lump on the outside of your eyelid may, in fact, be something else. Seek medical advice.
I have a lump in my inner eyelid, what is it?
Little fatty deposits, Xanthelasma, materialising as bumps or lumps in the inner eyelid are not uncommon. Hardly bothersome, they can be irritating. Also, minuscule white spots called Milia can colonise the skin under the eyelid. Known as milk spots in newborns, they may develop across the whole of the face. Neither of these conditions is grave and are easily treatable.
How to optimise your eye care
Many of these listed conditions are preventable and can be remedied with simple items from the household cupboard. Take time to practise good eye hygiene with our top pointers:
Remove makeup at the end of the day which attracts dirt and debris if left. Try a Witch Hazel pre-moistened cotton cleaning circle, safe yet efficacious at shifting caked and hard beauty products. Pick one with added cucumber and lavender to soothe, soften and refresh the fragile skin.
Protect your eyes from UV light, glare and dust particularly in adverse weather or the working environment.
Sore, dry eyes are more prone to irritation and infection and you will be tempted to rub them because they will feel gritty and taut. Irrigate your eyes with a proprietary eye wash or just plain water restoring moisture levels, lubrication and promoting comfort and desirable eye function.
Could this lump in my lower eyelid be a tumour?
Statistics dictate this is highly unlikely. As well as the common offenders already listed, other potential diagnoses include warts, papilloma, moles, Cysts of Zeiss – fatty and yellow in appearance – and Cysts of Moll which are clear lumps. Decades of data suggest that a lump in the lower eyelid is usually nothing to be concerned about and only rarely an indicator of serious disease.
The significance of colour
It is often conjectured that eye colour is connected to eye health but this is a myth.
It is true that people with brown eyes have a reduced frequency of developing AMD – age-related macular degeneration but this is offset with other drawbacks.
Has an accident to your eye created a small lump on your eyelid?
After a home or work mishap, you may have a foreign body or object lodged in your eye. This needs urgent assessment and removal by a specialist in casualty or the Accident & Emergency Department of your local hospital. Do not attempt to examine the small lump on your eyelid yourself or remove the detritus. Avoid any medication in the eye, protect it with sunglasses if necessary and find immediate first aid. The sore lump may actually be an injury or lesion. Your eye will be carefully inspected for damage with sophisticated ocular equipment and the relevant treatment determined.
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