how to get rid of a chalazion melbourne vic

How to Get Rid of a Chalazion? Helpful Ways & Some Things to Avoid

A chalazion on the eyelid is a fairly common finding. Fortunately, these little bumps, while unattractive and annoying, are not cancerous and rarely require referral for oculoplastic surgery – there are other ways of how to get rid of a chalazion


What is a Chalazion?

Chalazia (the plural of chalazion) are a result of a blockage of oils in a meibomian gland of the eyelid. These meibomian glands line the top and bottom eyelid margins and produce an oily sebaceous secretion as part of the tear film covering the surface of the eye. If one of these glands become clogged and obstructed, its secretions then accumulate within the duct, resulting in a chalazion of the eyelid. Chalazia are also known to occur following the resolution of a stye; this is then known as a secondary chalazion. 

While a chalazion involves inflammation, by definition it is non-infectious. Chalazia are often confused with styes as both appear as bumps on the eyelid, however, a stye involves an infection, typically bacterial, while a chalazion does not. A chalazion usually appears as a firm, round, painless nodule on either the top or bottom eyelid though in the early days of development it may be slightly red and tender. Occasionally it may appear as though a section of the eyelid is generally swollen rather than being able to discern a discrete round bump. In some cases, a chalazion may be large enough to affect the movement of the eyelid, causing what is known as a mechanical ptosis. A very large chalazion also has the potential to cause some pressure on the cornea, which is the transparent front surface of the eye. As the cornea is responsible for bending and refracting light, a distortion to this tissue from the pressure of the chalazion can cause some temporary blurry vision.

treatment how to get rid of a chalazion melbourneA chalazion can happen to anyone though there are some factors associated with being more predisposed to experiencing recurrent chalazia. These include having chronic blepharitis, a common eyelid condition involving inflammation of the eyelash follicles and glands of the eyelid; acne rosacea, a skin condition affecting the face; and general poor eyelid hygiene. 

A GP, optometrist, or ophthalmologist, including those specialising in oculoplastic surgery, can easily diagnose a chalazion. Diagnosis will typically involve examining the eyelid bump either with the naked eye, or more ideally, with a specialised microscope known as a slit lamp. A benefit of having the chalazion assessed by an eyecare practitioner with a slit lamp is that he or she can also view the eyelid structures in more detail, such as ensuring there are no unusual changes to the eyelashes near the bump, which may indicate a more sinister lesion mimicking a chalazion. The doctor will also want to gently touch the bump to assess its extent and determine whether touching it causes any irritation or tenderness. Once the bump has been properly identified and any other causes ruled out, your eyecare practitioner can then talk you through about how to get rid of a chalazion.


How to Get Rid of a Chalazion?

In most cases, it is not necessary to treat a chalazion as they are non-infectious and have the ability to self-resolve even if you choose to leave them alone. However, some people may be most concerned about the appearance of a chalazion, and as they can take weeks to months to clear on their own, may seek oculoplastic surgery. Before reaching this point, your eyecare practitioner may encourage you to first try using a warm compress as a simple home remedy. This involves soaking a cloth in warm water and placing it over the affected eyelid three to four times a day for five to ten minutes at a time. The heat may be sufficient enough to soften the clogged debris in the gland and allow it to be expressed through the duct.

At the same time, you may choose to apply some very gentle pressure on the bump to massage it in the direction of the eyelashes to encourage the gland to drain out. You should never try to pop or squeeze a chalazion as doing so could cause the blocked material in the obstructed gland to seep into the surrounding tissues, exacerbating further inflammation or inducing an infection. Antibiotic medications should also be avoided as they are ineffective when there is no active infection.

For people whose chalazia are causing significant concern, whether due to the cosmetic appearance, because the bump is taking too long to resolve, or if the chalazion is so large that it is causing a mechanical ptosis or distorted vision, treatment by an ophthalmologist experienced in oculoplastic surgery may be warranted. A chalazion can be treated using corticosteroid injections into the bump to clear away the inflammation and reduce the size of the bump. Risks of this treatment include changes to skin pigmentation at the injection site, particularly in patients with darker complexions. Alternatively, the ophthalmologist may recommend a surgical procedure known as an incision and curettage, which involves creating an incision with a scalpel under anaesthesia and physically removing the contents of the blocked gland. This treatment carries the risk of scarring or accidentally injuring the eyeball. Typically, the cortisone injection will be recommended before incision and curettage. 

Contact us today at (03) 9070 3580 to schedule your next appointment!



Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner

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What is Retinitis Pigmentosa? Symptoms, Causes, & Possible Treatment

Retinitis pigmentosa is not a disease you’re likely to hear about often, yet it can cause significant visual impairment, to the point of legal blindness and disability. 


The Retina

The retina is the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye. There are ten layers to the retina, one of these being the photoreceptor layer. Photoreceptors are the sensory cells that react to light entering the eye, converting this response into a neural signal that is then passed along to the brain. There are two types of photoreceptors – rods and cones, so named due to their shapes. Cones are found in greatest density at the centre of the retina, an area known as the macula. Cones are responsible for the discernment of fine detail and colour vision. When light levels are high, such as during daytime, our vision predominantly uses cones. Rods are located mainly in the peripheral retina and are responsible for our side vision and for sight during low light levels. Retinitis pigmentosa primarily affects the rod photoreceptors. So, what is retinitis pigmentosa


What is Retinitis Pigmentosa? 

Retinitis pigmentosa is a group of rare, inherited retinal eye diseases with a prevalence of around 1 in 4000 people globally. It is characterised by progressive damage and loss of the rod photoreceptors of the retina, eventually also leading to dysfunction of the cone photoreceptors. Retinitis pigmentosa may be an isolated eye disease or occur as part of a syndrome that affects other parts of the body, such as Usher’s syndrome. 

The characteristic symptoms of retinitis pigmentosa are night blindness and progressive loss of peripheral vision, eventually leading to tunnel vision. Due to the progressive nature of retinitis pigmentosa symptoms, the disease may not always be caught in its very early stages. The onset of the condition can vary between different subtypes of retinitis pigmentosa, from as early as within the first decade of life up to the fifties. Most commonly, retinitis pigmentosa will be diagnosed around childhood to young adulthood. 

As late-stage retinitis pigmentosa also affects the cone photoreceptors and is known to cause lesions at the macula, people with this condition may eventually begin to find their central vision deteriorates. While both eyes are typically affected to some degree, it is rare for people to completely lose vision in both eyes. Other eye findings commonly associated with retinitis pigmentosa are cataracts, short-sightedness (myopia) and astigmatism. 

Taking a thorough history of symptoms will help your optometrist or ophthalmologist diagnose retinitis pigmentosa. Several tests are able to confirm the diagnosis, including:treatment what is retinitis pigmentosa melbourne

  • Fundoscopy – having a clear view of the retina will identify characteristic signs, such as pigmentary changes, narrowed blood vessels, and a pale optic nerve
  • Visual field testing – this is useful to determine the extent of peripheral vision loss and monitor progression
  • Electroretinogram – electrodiagnostic testing measures the electrical activity of photoreceptors as an indication of their function


What is Retinitis Pigmentosa Caused By?

There are over 50 genes involved in retinitis pigmentosa. A mutation in one of these genes can affect a photoreceptor’s ability to produce a protein, whether a complete inability to manufacture a required protein or the production of a dysfunctional protein. Other types of genetic mutations may cause the production of a protein that is toxic to the photoreceptor. The inheritance pattern of retinitis pigmentosa may be X-linked recessive, autosomal dominant, or autosomal recessive. 

Genetic testing, whether as part of diagnosing retinitis pigmentosa or after the diagnosis has been made, may be useful to determine the likelihood of passing on a genetic mutation to your children.


Management and Retinal Surgery 

There is currently no known cure for retinitis pigmentosa, including retinal surgery. Low vision training, such as learning how to use a mobility cane or a guide dog, magnifying devices, or making modifications to everyday items, is an important part of living with retinitis pigmentosa. 

Some studies have indicated that a high dose of vitamin A supplementation taken daily can help to slow the progression of vision loss in adults. However, as there are several different subtypes of retinitis pigmentosa, this option may not be effective for most. It is not fully understood how vitamin A acts to slow the sight deterioration in this disease.  

There has been exploration into the use of gene therapy as a treatment option for retinitis pigmentosa, predominantly for conditions associated with a mutation of the RPE65 gene. However, as there are so many genes associated with retinitis pigmentosa, gene therapy currently has limited use in this disease.

Up until relatively recently, retinal surgery was not a viable option for treating retinitis pigmentosa. A device called the ARGUS II implant (no longer in production), was shown to have the potential to restore some sight to patients with late-stage retinitis pigmentosa. An electrode chip is implanted into the eye via retinal surgery, which stimulates the retina electrically after receiving signals from a camera mounted onto spectacles. More recently, there has been focus on the invention of an implant inserted directly into the brain, known as the Orion system. The device bypasses the damaged retina entirely, instead transmitting visual signals from the glasses-mounted camera directly to the brain’s visual centres. 

As these devices are still being developed, the mainstay of retinitis pigmentosa management remains as low vision training. 

Contact us at (03) 9070 3580 today for more info.



Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

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