If you have ever had red, irritated bumps on your eyelid, especially near the eyelash line, you know just how painful and unsightly these can be. They may cause discomfort, but these annoying bumps are generally harmless and disappear on their own. You can quicken the process at home with some simple treatments. But first, what are the different types of eyelid bumps and what causes them?
Your eyelashes are important, as they protect your eyes from dust and bits of debris that can hurt the eye. Oil glands around your eyelids are what keep your lashes healthy, but if these areas become swollen or infected, an eyelid bump may arise. This condition is called blepharitis.
Most bumps eyelid are either a stye or a chalazion, but it can be tough to tell which because they both look like a small lump. Warm compresses are usually all that is needed to ease the discomfort.
Another type is call a xanthelasma, which is actually a deposit of fat that develops in the inner corners of the eyelids. These are harmless and will go away on their own.
Or, you may have tiny white bumps on your eyelid called milia that appear under the skin’s surface. They usually develop in groups and can pop up anywhere else on the face too.
Because styes and chalazia are the most common forms of eyelid bumps, we’ll go over their key differences here:
- A stye is painful; a chalazion is not.
- A stye swells to cover the whole eyelid; a chalazion typically stays small.
- A stye occurs around the eyelashes; a chalazion can be located on or inside the eyelid.
- A stye is red; a chalazion is not.
With a stye, you will notice a red lump on the eyelid, perhaps with a small spot of pus in the center. Your eye will be irritated and itchy, or you may feel like you have something caught in your eye.
With a stye, the edges of your eyelid may become crusty, and your eyes may water excessively. Your entire eyelid may swell and you may become more sensitive to light.
With a chalazion, this lump develops quickly without any symptoms except a swollen or tender bump. It may press on your eyeball if it’s large enough, leading to blurry vision.
Treatment for Blepharitis
While there’s no cure for blepharitis, here’s what you can do to ease symptoms.
- Warm Compresses: Placing a clean, wet, warm washcloth over your eyes for a minute or two will loosen any flakes that have stuck to your eyelashes and will prevent clogging of nearby oil glands, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
- Eyelid Scrubs: Gently massage a warm, damp washcloth or cotton swab at the base of your eyelashes for half a minute.
- Antibiotics: Your ophthalmologist may offer you an antibiotic ointment prescription to apply to the site with a clean fingertip or cotton swab. You may also before be prescribed oral antibiotics. Your eye doctor can discuss the best course of action with you.
- Eye Drops: Artificial tears or steroid eye drops may help keep the swelling, dry eye and redness down.
- Skin and Eyelid Hygiene: Keep your skin, hair and eyelids clean, washing your eyelashes daily with baby shampoo, and your hair, scalp and eyebrows with an antibacterial shampoo.
Bumps in your eyelid? Contact Simon Eye Associates!
If you suspect you have blepharitis, or aren’t sure what those bumps on your eyelid mean, schedule an appointment with Simon Eye today at 302-239-1933.