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

Eyelid Ptosis Causes – Learn The Signs Of Underlying Serious Condition

Our eyelids serve a few functions. One is to protect the delicate eye from dirt, debris, and even incoming projectiles such as a wayward snapped rubber band. Another function is to keep the surface of the eye well lubricated for the purposes of both eye health and good vision by containing various glands that secrete the multiple components of our complex tear film. 

When the eyelids don’t function as they should, such as with an eyelid ptosis, it can impact various aspects of our vision, such as hindering the sight out of the affected eye or inducing dry eye. Some of these cases are age-related and may simply require referral to a specialist in oculoplastic surgery while other ptosis causes are a sign of a more serious underlying disease that necessitates further medical investigation. 


What is an Eyelid Ptosis?

 A ptosis is the medical term for a drooping upper eyelid. The magnitude of the ptosis can vary from being only noticeable when carefully comparing the height of the eyelid to the other eye, to being severe enough such that the eye appears almost entirely closed and ptosis surgery is required to restore vision. 


Ptosis Causes

The most common cause of an eyelid ptosis is simply age, a condition termed aponeurotic ptosis or senile ptosis. The action of the upper eyelid is controlled mainly by a muscle called the levator palpebrae superioris, which is anchored to the surrounding tissues by a ligament. With time, age, and gravity, this ligament can stretch and loosen or become entirely detached, resulting in a limited ability to hold up the eyelid levator muscle. An aponeurotic ptosis is generally easily rectified through ptosis surgery in a procedure that aims to either shorten the levator muscle or reattach the ligament. If uncorrected with oculoplastic surgery, an age-related ptosis can worsen with time. 

most common eyelid ptosis causes melbourneIn addition to occurring in the elderly, an eyelid ptosis can also occur in the very young, as is the case in a congenital ptosis. During this condition, an infant is born with an existing ptosis, most commonly due to underdevelopment of the eyelid levator muscle. A congenital ptosis will rarely worsen with time if left uncorrected, however, if the drooping eyelid is low enough to obscure vision, the ophthalmologist will likely recommend ptosis surgery early in life to encourage proper visual development in the eye and avoid causing a lazy eye (amblyopia)

Localised diseases or conditions of the eye can also contribute to ptosis causes. These include infections of the eyelid, which causes inflammation and swelling, or the presence of some lesion that physically weighs down the upper lid, causing it to droop. Such lesions can be a simple chalazion or stye, or may be more serious such as a large tumour. Trauma to the eye area can also induce a ptosis, such as eyelid swelling from a black eye. 

Rarely, ptosis causes can be the result of a more serious disease requiring medical attention beyond an oculoplastic surgery specialist. One of these conditions is myasthenia gravis, which is an autoimmune neuromuscular disease resulting in muscle weakness. Myasthenia gravis is characterised by a worsening of muscle fatigue and weakness after periods of activity, improving after periods of rest. Often, deterioration of the muscles around the eyes may be one of the first signs of myasthenia gravis, including a ptosis but also the presence of double vision as the muscles that control the movements of the eyeballs themselves fatigue (ocular myasthenia).

When presenting with a ptosis, if the doctor suspects myasthenia, he or she may test this by asking the patient to look upward for a sustained period of time; a person with myasthenia gravis will find the ptosis worsens during this activity. Unfortunately, there is no current cure for myasthenia, but with modern medicine there are many therapies available that can effectively improve muscle function and quality of life for affected individuals. For some people, ptosis surgery can be a useful treatment in addition to medical management for the systemic disease. 

Another cause of ptosis can arise from problems with the nerves that control the eyelid muscles. The upper eyelid is innervated by the third (out of 12) cranial nerves. Any condition that affects the pathway of this nerve through the brain can result in a ptosis, including diseases such as a stroke, brain tumour, or aneurysm in the brain. Even long-term diabetes has the potential to cause nerve damage.

A rare condition known as Horner’s syndrome can present with a ptosis, double vision, and abnormally small pupil, due to damage to one section along a chain of nerves that run from the brain, down the spinal cord to the top of the lungs, and then back up the neck to the face. Causes of Horner’s syndrome that may result in a ptosis include a lung tumour, a stroke in the brainstem, birth trauma to the neck and shoulder, or injury to the carotid artery. If the doctor suspects Horner’s syndrome, ptosis surgery will not be a priority – instead, you will most likely be sent to the hospital emergency department.

Be reassured that most cases of ptosis are benign and simply a result of age. However, should you notice an eyelid progressively becoming more and more droopy, it is important to be assessed by an appropriately experienced eye specialist. 



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

chalazion vs stye melbourne

Chalazion vs Stye – What Is The Difference?

The eyelid can be subject to various lumps and bumps, some of which are harmless and no more than a cosmetic concern, and others which need to be seen by an oculoplastic surgery specialist immediately for treatment. When it comes to common eyelid bumps, one of the most frequent confusions is what is the difference between a chalazion vs a stye


The Eyelid

The human eyelid is much more than a simple fold of skin lined with eyelashes. Understanding a little about our own eyelid anatomy can help before moving into distinguishing between a chalazion vs stye, as these two eyelid bumps arise from different locations in the eyelid. 

Within the eyelid beneath the visible skin are layers of smooth muscle, connective tissue, fibrous tissue, conjunctiva, and various secretory glands. An important set of glands are known as the meibomian glands, which line the eyelid margins on both the upper and lower lids. These glands produce an oily secretion commonly known as meibum, which functions to lubricate the surface of the eye and plays a crucial role in preventing dry eye. If you were to turn the eyelid inside out and examine the pink inner surface of conjunctiva with the appropriate imaging technology, healthy meibomian glands appear like little clusters of bulbs lining a central channel that leads to the eyelid margin and secretes onto the surface of the eye, just behind the rows of eyelashes. 

Each row of eyelashes is accompanied by two additional types of glands that function to support the health of the eyelashes. These are the known as the glands of Zeis, which are sebaceous glands, and the glands of Moll, which are modified sweat glands. Both of these are found at the base of each eyelash follicle and serve to keep the lashes from becoming brittle and unhealthy. 


Chalazion vs Stye 

Chalazia (plural of chalazion) and styes are among the most common eyelid bumps and lumps you’re likely to encounter in your lifetime. Fortunately, both are considered benign and non-cancerous, though can cause some distress if large or sore. It’s quite common for many people to use the umbrella term of “stye” to refer to all eyelid bumps, including chalazia, however these two lesions arise from different underlying causes. Both appear as a swollen lump on the eyelid, and both can feel red, warm, and tender. So, what is the difference between a chalazion vs a stye

difference chalazion vs stye melbourneA chalazion is a non-infectious blockage of a meibomian gland, while a stye, also known as a hordeolum, is an infection of either a gland of Zeis or Moll (in the case of an external hordeolum), or of a meibomian gland (an internal hordeolum). 

Chalazia may initially begin as an internal stye, which then resolves after a few days into an obstructed meibomian gland with no active infection. A chalazion may present as a general swelling of the eyelid, eventually reducing to a discrete hard bump on the eyelid. The composition of this bump under the skin consists of blocked meibum accumulating in the surrounding soft tissues due to the obstruction of its usual drainage channels. Usually this bump is not painful, even to the touch, and many people are bothered only by the appearance of it more than anything else. In some cases, the chalazion may be large enough to press on the cornea, the transparent front surface of the eye; this can cause some mild distortion of the cornea and temporarily blur the vision. Chalazia can take weeks, and occasionally months, to fully resolve as the body clears away the waste material from the eyelid. 

Conversely, a stye is often painful and red as it’s the product of an active infection. External styes are the most common type of hordeolum and appear as a yellowish or white pimple around the base of an eyelash, while an internal stye resembles more a chalazion and presents as a bump further into the eyelid. Styes most often involve a staphylococcal bacterial infection. In most cases, an external stye will rupture on its own within a few days, excreting a small amount of pus and self-resolving. 



In the majority of cases, both chalazia and styes will self-resolve without any intervention from an oculoplastic surgery specialist. Your optometrist or GP may recommend applying a warm compress to the eyelid a few times a day to speed up the healing process, but you should never attempt to squeeze or pop either a chalazion or stye, as tempting as it may be! Topical antibiotic ointment may be used for an external stye, but are ineffective for chalazion as there is no active infection to treat. 

For severe chalazia or styes that are too slow to resolve with conservative therapy, you may be referred to an eye specialist experienced in oculoplastic surgery. For persistent chalazion, the ophthalmologist may perform a procedure known as an incision and curettage, or may administer a steroid injection into the eyelid. In the case of external styes, the ophthalmologist may pluck out the eyelash associated with the infected gland, or may use a surgical blade under local anaesthesia to assist drainage of infected material from the gland. 

Chalazion and styes can often recur, especially if you have underlying factors that make you more prone, such as acne rosacea or meibomian gland dysfunction. Frequently recurrent eyelid bumps, especially bumps that tend to occur in the same location on the eyelid, may require biopsy by an oculoplastic surgery specialist to rule out any other causes, such as an eyelid carcinoma. 



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

what is a ptosis melbourne

What is a Ptosis and How This Condition Can Be Treated?

Our eyelids can droop for a number of reasons. In your experience, you’ve most likely experienced this simply when tired or sleepy. However, in other cases, there can be other underlying reasons for what is known in the medical world as an eyelid ptosis. Some of these causes are simply due to age-related changes to the body while other cases of eyelid ptosis may herald a more serious disease. 


What is a Ptosis?

 Eyelid ptosis refers to an involuntarily drooping upper eyelid. The eyelid may be only slightly lowered such that it’s barely noticeable, or in some cases can be so lowered that it can block vision from that eye and requires ptosis surgery by an eye specialist experienced in oculoplastic surgery procedures.  

While the most obvious sign of ptosis is a drooping upper eyelid, there may be other more subtle signs that point to an issue with a person’s ability to keep their eye open. These signs include adjustments to head posture, such as tilting your head backward or lifting up your chin in order to see through the narrowed opening between your eyelids. A person with a ptosis may also unconsciously raise their eyebrows in an effort to use the forehead muscles to pull their upper eyelids up further.  


What is Ptosis Caused By? 

An eyelid ptosis can occur in any age group. Children can be born with a ptosis, either on one or both eyes – this is known as a congenital ptosis. Typically, the underlying reason for this is damage or underdevelopment of the muscles responsible for lifting the upper eyelid, or to the nerves that supply these muscles. If the ptosis is severe enough to limit the sight in that eye, your child’s eye specialist will most likely recommend that he or she undergo ptosis surgery reasonably soon so that the normal development of their vision is not unduly impacted. Unnatural head and neck positions from an attempt to see around a ptosis can also cause problems with neck muscle development if not addressed. 

causes what is a ptosis melbourneIn adults, the most common underlying cause of a ptosis is age-related weakening of the levator palpebrae muscle that lifts the top eyelid, or a loosening or detachment of the tendon that helps to anchor this muscle. Ptosis surgery, or a ptosis repair, is able to either reattach the tendon or even shorten the levator muscle so that the upper eyelid can be properly lifted. 

There are some cases of ptosis that are due to a more sinister underlying reason. Myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease characterised by increasing muscle fatigue and weakness, will often present with gradual worsening of drooping eyelids as the day progresses. This ptosis improves with rest and worsens when the eyelid muscles are exerted, such as when looking upwards for a sustained period of time.

An eyelid ptosis may also be a sign of damage to the nerve that supplies the eyelid levator muscle, such as in the case of Horner’s Syndrome or a 3rd cranial nerve palsy. These conditions are considered serious and may in fact be medical emergencies as they can be associated with the presence of an aneurysm or tumour. Such diseases will typically present with other symptoms in addition to the ptosis, such as unequal pupil size and restricted eye movements causing double vision, and must be managed as per the underlying cause rather than with ptosis surgery

There have been reports that certain eye operations can induce a ptosis, particularly those that require the use of a tool called a speculum, which is used to keep the eyelids open during the procedure. The theory is that the stretching of the eyelid by the speculum causes damage to the muscle or tendon, resulting in a post-operative ptosis. Post-operative ptosis has been reported after anterior eye operations such as cataract surgery and refractive procedures including LASIK


Oculoplastic Surgery

If you have been diagnosed with a ptosis, your doctor will first establish that there are no other serious underlying diseases as mentioned above. An ophthalmologist experienced in oculoplastic surgery can do a thorough assessment to determine what is your ptosis caused by and whether it’s suitable for management through ptosis surgery

A ptosis repair is typically a day procedure performed under local anaesthetic, though your surgeon may also offer you a sedative to ensure the procedure is comfortable for you. There are a couple of techniques the eye specialist may employ during the surgery, depending on the degree of ptosis and the condition of the eyelid muscle or nerve function. Ultimately, the aim of surgery is to raise the eyelid to ensure that it does not block your vision, and to improve the cosmetic appearance, ideally for the height of the eyelids to appear symmetrical. 

Immediately after surgery you’ll be given post-operative instructions, such as keeping the operated eye clean and protected from eye rubbing and dirt or dust and avoiding any strenuous activity or contact with unsterile water sources such as swimming pools.  

As the operation involves incisions and stitches into the skin and tissues around the eyelids, the final outcome of the surgery may not be apparent for up to a few months after the surgery as the eyelid heals. If required, the eye surgeon can perform a corrective procedure to ensure you’re fully satisfied with the results.  



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

what is epiphora melbourne

What is Epiphora? – Everything You Need To Know

We’ve all experienced watery eyes for one reason or another. It might have been triggered by a particularly emotional movie or perhaps something flew into your eye. In many cases, watery eyes are not unusual and can often be due to something easily identifiable, innocent, and fleeting. However, on occasion, you may find your eyes routinely overflowing with tears for no good reason, and it’s these occasions that may bring you to your eye care professional where you might hear the term “epiphora”. So, what is epiphora?


What is Epiphora?

Epiphora is the medical term for the overflow of tears from the eyes or watery eyes. It can occur due to an eye condition or disease, or it may be a reflexive reaction in an attempt to wash away some sort of irritation to the eyes, such as dust or chemical fumes. 

Causes of watery eyes can include:

  • Conjunctivitis: watery eyes from allergic conjunctivitis is usually easily identified as they’re often accompanied by other allergy symptoms such as itching and redness of the eyes. You may also have the typical symptoms of hayfever, such as sneezing and a runny nose. Viral conjunctivitis also tends to present with watery eyes alongside redness and itching or burning; you may have also had a recent cold or flu. 
  • A foreign object in the eye: the natural reflex of the eye when encountering a foreign particle is to produce tears in order to flush it away; there may be accompanying discomfort or irritation. 
  • Trauma to the eye: this can be as mild as accidentally brushing a finger against your sensitive cornea or as severe as a laceration to the eye. Depending on the extent and type of trauma, you can expect other symptoms including pain, redness, and decreased vision.
  • Infection or inflammation to the cornea: known as keratitis, this can be from a variety of causes including bacterial or viral. Keratitis is often accompanied by a sore eye, glare sensitivity and potentially decreased vision. causes what is epiphora melbourne
  • Dry eye disease: although counterintuitive when considering the definition of what is epiphora, a dry eye’s surface triggers a reflex to produce more tears, which may then end up overflowing and resulting in a watery eye. Addressing the epiphora then becomes a matter of actually treating the eyes for dryness.
  • Changes to the structure or function of the nasolacrimal system or eyelids: ageing, facial trauma, or unusual growths may impede the normal drainage of tears from the surface of the eye, leading to epiphora. There can often be no other outwardly noticeable abnormalities. Such cases may require the attention of an eye specialist and oculoplastic surgery. 


The Nasolacrimal System and Eyelids

The nasolacrimal system of the eye is responsible for the production of tears and its drainage from the surface of the eye. The lacrimal gland sits just above the top eyelid towards the outer corner of the eye and secretes its tears onto the surface of the eyeball. Tears play an important part in the health of the eye and are significantly more than just saline, providing lubrication, protection, and various nutrients and immune factors to the surface of the eye. Due to gravity, these tears eventually pool along the margin of the bottom eyelid. The blinking motion of the eyelids flushes these tears towards the inner corners of your eyes, which contain two small openings known as puncta on the top and bottom eyelids; from there the tear fluid then drains via a system of ducts through the nose and down the throat. 

Any dysfunction or alteration to the structure of the nasolacrimal system or the eyelids has the potential to induce a watery eye as it impedes the normal drainage of tears. This can occur in one eye and not the other, or be present in both eyes but more pronounced in one. Issues to these parts of the eye may only be able to be resolved with oculoplastic surgery, a subspecialty of ophthalmology that cares specifically for the eyelids and associated anatomy. 

An eye specialist in oculoplastic surgery is able to assess the function of your eyelids, including whether they are able to close in such a way that efficiently moves tears towards your puncta, whether they are sitting in an appropriate position against your eye’s surface, and whether there are any bumps or distortions along the lid that may disrupt the normal drainage of tears. Surgical procedures such as tightening of a loose lower eyelid such that it sits well-positioned against the eye, known as blepharoplasty, or excision of a disruptive bump along the eyelid margin may be the solution in these cases. 

Often a narrowed section of the nasolacrimal system is the underlying reason for epiphora and requires an experienced ophthalmologist in oculoplastic surgery to treat the obstructed area. Punctoplasty and an insertion of a stent may be necessary to widen a narrowed punctum, or in some cases, an entirely new channel from the eyes to the nose may be surgically constructed in a procedure known as a dacryocystorhinostomy.  

Rather than putting up with a persistent, bothersome watery eye with tears constantly flowing down your cheek, having an eye examination by an appropriately experienced eye care professional can identify what is your epiphora caused by and how it can be best treated.



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