A common reason for an office visit, a bump on an eyelid can be a variety of conditions and it is best determined by visiting your optometrist in person for a complete eye exam.
Common Causes of Eyelid Bumps (Chalazion/Hordeolum)
Among the most common conditions which result in a bump on the eyelid are a chalazion and hordeolum. Both conditions are common and can result in a visible bump on either the upper lids or lower lids.
There are many other conditions which can cause a bump on the eyelids but are often associated with other factors, such as a bug bite, or are just less common overall, such as an inclusion cyst.
Chalazion on the Eyelid
A chalazion is a bump either on the external skin side of the eyelid or the internal conjunctival side of the eyelid. A chalazion is caused by a non-infectious inflammation of the oil glands in the eyelid. While a chalazion may cause discomfort associated with the nodule that it creates on the eyelid, it will not be painful to the touch.
A chalazion is a very slow growing condition and will be stable for a long period of time. Since there is not an active infection in the bump, many treatment options are available.
At home warm compresses and gentle massage with your fingers will often help break up the oil-based material inside the bump and allow for complete resolution.
If more advanced treatment is needed, options include a steroid injection into the bump to help reduce the amount of the inflammation or incision and curettage in which the bump is cut open and the contents are removed in office.
Hordeolum (ie: Stye) on the Eyelid
A hordeolum is a bacterial infection of the oil glands within the eyelid. A hordeolum can occur on either the external or internal side of the eyelid.
Normally, a hordeolum is associated with considerable pain and tenderness around the bump and swelling of the eyelid on which the hordeolum is located.
As an active bacterial infection, there is a risk for the infection to spread and progress into a more severe infection of the entire eyelid.
Stye and Hordeolum Treatments
Treatment options for a hordeolum include oral antibiotics prescribed by your optometrist, warm compresses to help relieve some of the inflammation and swelling, and good eyelid hygiene.
The oral antibiotics will directly treat the active bacterial infection and having good eyelid hygiene will help to reduce the likelihood of a recurrent hordeolum. As the hordeolum contains an active infection, no treatment options involving injections or incisions are available.