Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Children's Health - One Chalazion, two Chalazion

What's a Chalazion? That's what I wanted to know.

A Chalazion is a lump on the eyelid, caused by an obstruction of an oil gland. It resembles a sty but technically, is not. I know this because one has come to dwell on MY little girls eyelid. It's been there for about five weeks now.

Her pediatrician sent us to a specialist in Manhattan to get it checked out. We were all certain that her poor little eye-lid was going to be lanced and drained and Stephen and I were sick about it.

So, in an attempt to calm my nerves, I thought, well, what's the worst that could happen?

And then I pictured it.

I envisioned my daughter seated in a chair in a tiny room. Across from her, is the Pediatric Ophthalmologist, holding a little scalpel in hand. I pictured the Doctor gingerly moving the scalpel up to my little girls eyelid...

What?!!!!!!!!...OH NO!!!!...The telephone starts to ring, which startles the Doctor and alas, instead of lancing my cute little girls eyelid, the Doctor lances her actual eyeball instead!

She could be blinded in her left eye forever!

Yeah...this wasn't helping.

Thankfully though, after seeing my daughter, the specialist determined that a hospitalization to lance and drain a 4 year olds eyelid should be the last resort and therefore recommended that we continue with warm compresses for 10 minutes, 3 times a day. She noted that it will probably take months for the Chalazion to go away.

We needed some guidance as to what to use as a warm compress. I had been wetting washcloths with hot water, yet the cloths stayed warm for less than a minute. The process of wetting and re-wetting the clothes was frustrating, as well as ineffective.

The specialist offered a couple of great suggestions and I'm going to pass them along to you...

She suggested we take a small potato, place it in a sock and then microwave it.  We've found that microwaving it for 50 seconds has done the trick! She also said microwaving a sock full of rice works well too. I opted for the potato because it seemed the least messy of the two. 

Note...check the temperature to make sure it's not too hot for your little one, and then place potato/rice filled sock, directly on your child's eye.  This will work for both Chalazions and Sty's.

The potato retains its heat for the time needed and I am happy to report that her eye looks a lot better. We're not out of the woods yet, but I am hopeful that this works and there won't be any hospitalizations in our near future.

Have any of you experienced anything like this? If so, I would love for you to share your story with me.


  1. I have no experience here, but man, I have sympathy. I'm also a worst case scenario person AND have a terrible issue with eyes. Some people can't stand butts? I can't stand eyes.

    Issues? ME? NEVER.


  2. Thanks Aunt Becky! I hear ya. I am seriously wondering if this thing on her eye is ever going to go away and i'm really afraid that we are going to end up where I feared most... in a hospital getting this thing lanced and drained. I can't take it.

    I just read your latest post and clicked on the link. read. and cried. I am so sorry. I cannot imagine the pain. It is heartbreaking. I would love to do anything I can to help you raise awareness of March of Dimes.