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Common Eyelid Conditions and How They’re Treated

Your eyelids protect your eyes from contaminants and keep them moist. Because the eyelid tissue is delicate, it’s vulnerable to painful or uncomfortable conditions. Here’s an overview of the four most common types of eyelid conditions and how they can be treated.


Inflamed eyelids could be the result of one of these conditions:

  • Blepharitis, typically caused by oil and bacteria

  • A stye, a red, sensitive bump on the edge of the eyelid

  • A chalazion, a lump on the eyelid due to oil gland obstruction or inflammation

  • Meibomian gland dysfunction, also called posterior blepharitis, is clogging of the oil glands at the base of the eyelashes

  • Lacrimal duct obstruction, blockage of the duct that drains tears from your eye

Most of these can be improved by regular use of warm compresses. Sometimes further interventions such as lid wipes and/or antibiotics are necessary.


Some possible conditions resulting in lesions are:

  • Seborrheic keratosis, oily, coloured lesions common in older adults

  • Actinic keratosis, flaky, scaly skin around the eye

  • Hidrocystoma, a clear cyst near the eyelid edge, caused by a blocked sweat gland

  • Molluscum contagiosum, a viral infection that produces small, waxy nodules

  • A nevus, a typically harmless mole or birthmark

  • A xanthelasma, a soft, yellow area near the inner eyelids

Treatments for lesion eyelid conditions, although rarely necessary, include surgery, laser removal or freezing.


Some conditions that affect the mechanical function of your eyelids include:

  • A blepharospasm, an involuntary spasm of the eyelid muscle, causing twitching or blinking

  • A coloboma, a missing piece of eye tissue, usually due to abnormal gestational development

  • Dermatochalasis, excess eyelid skin or fatty tissue hanging over the edge of the eye

  • Ectropion, an eyelid turning outward, exposing the inner eyelid

  • A facial palsy may inhibit the eyelid’s ability to close

  • Trichiasis, abnormal eyelash growth pattern, causing them to rub against the cornea

Treatments for mechanical eyelid conditions include surgery or Botox injections.


Changes in the skin on your eyelid may indicate a form of cancer, such as:

  • Basal cell carcinoma, a firm, pearly nodule on the lower lid or near the inner fold

  • Squamous cell carcinoma, raised, scaly, raw lesions on the upper eyelid that can spread aggressively

  • Sebaceous carcinoma, resembling a chalazion or blepharitis but can spread to other organs

  • Melanoma, pigmented tumours that are likely to metastasize

Treatments for cancerous eyelid conditions include surgery and radiation therapy.

Visit An Eye Doctor in Edmonton

At Optometrists’ Clinic Inc., we’ll diagnose eyelid conditions during a general eye exam, and an optometrist can spot other vision problems like cataracts and glaucoma. Book an appointment at one of our clinics in Edmonton, Leduc and Westlock.



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