Conditions of the Eyelids

Conditions of the Eyelids

Dr.Surya Rao Poodipeddi profile Authored by Dr.Surya Rao Poodipeddi on 14 Apr 2014 - 16:40.

Continuing from the article on the Inside Story of a Fluttering Eyelid, here we discuss the various conditions affecting the eyelids.

Inflammatory conditions of the eyelids: Infection of any nature, usually the staphylococcal infection leads to inflammation and crust formation over the eyelids. This process is called blepheritis. The victim experiences swelling, itching and severe pain in the swollen lids with a feeling that something is inside the eye. Treatment consists of keeping the eyes clean and use of antibiotics. Recurrence is common and treatment needs to be repeated.

Stye: Otherwise known as hardeolum, a stye is usually caused due to staphylococcal infection. It affects one or more glands at the edge of the lid or under the lid. If a stye forms in one of the deeper glands in the lids we call it internal hordeolum. Hot compressions and use of antibiotics gives relief. The swollen part of the lid develops a white point in the center which might rupture when hot compressions are given and the accumulations are drained out.

Chalazion: Enlargement of a long thin oil gland is known as a chalazion. Initially it looks like a stye. Later it turns out to be a painless swelling. Hot compressions several times daily help reducing the swelling. In most cases the swelling disappears over a time. If it persists for more than six weeks one needs to consult an eye specialist.

Entropion: This is a condition where the edge of the eye lid turns inwards rubbing the cornea leading to scarring of the cornea. Ectropion is a condition where the edge of the eyelid turns outwards leading to improper and insufficient closing of the lid which in turn leads to lack of protection to the eye. Both entropion and extropion lead to scarring and leads to irritation, tearing and redness. Both the conditions can be treated through surgery.

Eyelid tumors: Eyelids are not immune from tumors. The growth can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). The commonest variety in the benign type of an eyelid tumor is Xanthelasma a yellow white flat growth consisting of fatty material. A Xanthelasma need not be removed unless it becomes a nuisance and poses cosmetic problems. However, the victim has elevated cholesterol levels for which a doctor has to monitor lipid profile. In the malignant variety squamous cell carcinoma and the more common basal cell carcinoma affect the eyelids. If the growth persists after several months a portion of the growth is excised and subjected to biopsy to determine whether it is benign or malignant and dealt with accordingly, through surgery if necessary.

Ptosis: Ptosis refers to the drooping of an eyelid, and affects only the upper eyelid of one or both eyes. The droop may be barely noticeable, or the lid can descend over the entire pupil. Ptosis can occur in both children and adults, but happens most often due to aging. The classical symptom is the noticeable droop of the eye lid with inability to raise the drooped lid. Depending on the extent of droop the victim faces problems in vision since the droop covers the pupil through which light passes.

*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.