Common Problems

Chalazion

A chalazion is a lump that appears in the eyelid as a result of inflammation in an oil-producing sweat gland inside the skin. When this gland becomes blocked, it can rupture, which often leads to inflammation. A chalazion usually only involves the upper eyelid and may cause swelling, occasional pain and redness. It can cause the eyelid to swell and can sometimes grow as large as an eighth of an inch. Use warm compresses for 10 to 15 minutes, two to four times a day to help reduce swelling. If after three to four days the swelling hasn't subsided, or if you experience symptoms like headaches, fever, vision problems or drainage, contact your ophthalmologist.

Sty

A sty is a tender, red bump on the eyelid caused by an acute infection or inflammation of the oil glands in the eyelid. If the gland is blocked, the oil produced by the gland will become congested and cause the oil to protrude through the wall of the gland forming a lump. A sty can grow on the upper and/or lower eyelid and cause tenderness and burning.

Most sties will go away on their own within a week. You can apply warm compresses four to six times a day, 15 minutes at a time to help the drainage. It is important to stop using eye makeup and lotions while the sty is present. Also, do not wear contact lenses because the sty could cause an infection that could spread to your cornea. Seek treatment if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Eyelid is swollen shut
  • Blurred or decreased vision
  • Swelling that lasts longer than three weeks
  • Eyelashes fall out
  • Sties on the bottom eyelid close to the nose
  • Fever
  • Excessive tearing
  • Sty is bleeding

Eye Allergies

If you suffer from seasonal eye allergies, consult our office, especially if you experience unusual eye pain, tearing, itching or swelling. Many different types of medical treatments for eye allergies are available by prescription. Prescription eye drops can treat certain eye conditions, infections or diseases. Before you use any eye drops, be sure to tell us about any other prescription or non-prescription medications that you are taking or any allergies that you have.

Injuries

Most eye injuries are preventable with proper planning and care. When playing sports, always use eye protection: safety goggles designed specifically for sports are readily available. When working in the yard, beware of debris that can become dangerous projectiles and injure eyes when using a lawnmower, power trimmer or hedger. Pesticides and household chemicals like cleaning fluids, detergents and ammonia are extremely hazardous and can burn the eye's delicate tissues. Proper storage, labelling and care when using these chemicals are essential.

  • Cuts: If you receive a cut on or near your eye, bandage the eye lightly, then immediately seek medical attention. Do not attempt to wash out the eye or to remove objects that may be stuck in the eye or eyelid. Avoid applying pressure to the injured eye.
  • Foreign Objects: If you get something caught in your eye, pull the upper lid down over the lashes of the lower lid and blink a few times. This action allows the eye to wash itself out.