Having a chalazion can be uncomfortable – in more ways than one, so it’s normal to be asking how to get rid of a chalazion quickly – overnight if possible.
If this is the knowledge you’re seeking – you’re in the right place. We’ll start by explaining exactly what a chalazion is, how you get them – and importantly, how you can get rid of them quickly and painlessly…
What is a chalazion?
A chalazion isn’t dissimilar to having a pimple or spot inside your eyelid.
They’re benign (meaning not harmful) and more often than not are completely painless. That said, they can be uncomfortable and cause some irritation to the eye – and if they continue to grow can look cosmetically unappealing, one of the main reasons people seek treatment.
What causes a chalazion?
Chalazia (the plural term) usually occur after a person has a stye – so we’ll begin there!
A stye is a red bump that occurs in or around the edge of the eyelid and is a result of a build-up of bacteria around either one of the eyelash follicles or one of the tiny oil glands within the eyelid.
Staphylococcal bacteria are usually to blame for the infection, they’re easily transferred between the mouth or nose and the eyes. As the infection takes hold some redness, swelling and pain will probably occur – similar to having a painful spot inside your eyelid. When a stye heals (usually in around 5-10 days), the pain and tenderness will usually go away – but the internal build-up of pus and oil can remain – leaving a chalazion.
This isn’t the only route to getting a chalazion, they do sometimes occur by themselves – although they can hang around longer if you don’t know how to treat it.
When do chalazia and styes occur?
There’s no real pattern to chalazia or styes appearing on a person – however, anything that makes rubbing the eyes more likely could up your chances of getting one. If you’re a hay fever sufferer you might find you’re more prone in the summer and autumn months.
As a chalazion feels similar to a rubbery spot, you might be tempted to line it up for a good squeeze – but be warned, you could be about to make the situation worse. Whether you’re thinking of popping a stye or a chalazion, you might end up spreading infection around your eye, increasing the chance of getting more.
How to treat a chalazion
Although it might not be the explosive popping quick fix you were hoping for, the very best way to get rid of a chalazion is to help to speed up the natural healing process.
Let us explain how:
Run a bowl of hot water. It shouldn’t be too hot though – and most certainly not boiling. Aim for the same temperature you’d go for if you were having a hot bath.
Get a clean face cloth and soak it in the water. It’s important that it is clean as any cleaning products (soap etc) can irritate the eyes further.
Ring most of the water out of the cloth and place the warm and damp cloth over the affected eye. Keep it there for around 15 minutes – renewing the heat by submerging and ringing-out again whenever you feel it cooling down.
After you’ve held the hot compress over your eye you should try to massage the chalazion. You can do so from either side of the eyelid – but you should make sure your hands are very clean when you’re doing so.
Again, you might be tempted to squeeze – but don’t, it won’t pop and it’s probably just going to hurt.
You should use this hot cloth compress technique anywhere between 3-7 times a day. Each time making sure to use a clean cloth and to massage with clean hands.
By applying a hot compress as frequently as possible you help the body to naturally break down the pus or oil that’s trapped inside the chalazion. You’re likely to see the chalazion reducing in size itself, but it might form a head similar to a pimple – which then pops of its own accord.
Is an overnight fix possible?
In truth, it’s likely to take more than the 12 hours overnight to rid yourself of a chalazion completely – however, you can expect to see some significant reduction in the redness and swelling if you hot compress and massage as suggested.
Since a chalazion is generally totally painless and the cosmetic impact is the part that’s the most unpleasant, most chalazia sufferers will be happy with this outcome.
What if you see no change?
If you’ve tried the hot compress and massage technique for 2-3 days and you’re not seeing any reduction in the redness, swelling or size of the chalazia, it might be a good time to see a doctor.
In some very rare instances, a chalazion can grow – sometimes quickly. If this is the case, or you start to see redness spread into your eye, you should see your doctor as quickly as possible. While it’s unlikely to be anything serious, it’s always worth getting things like this checked out for your own peace of mind – especially if there’s a hint of any spreading infection.
What will a doctor do?
Your doctor will take one of two probably courses of action to rid you of a chalazion. The first method involves a steroid based cream that will work to reduce the swelling and help the body breakdown the fluid inside the chalazion.
However, if you’re experiencing any significant discomfort, a doctor may drain the chalazion – applying a numbing anaesthetic cream and making a tiny incision, before massaging out any oil or pus. While this might sound like a quick fix, you’ll find that most doctors are keen to pursue the cream option before resorting to wielding anything sharp around your eye!
While you’re healing
It’s well worth avoiding heavy makeup and scented cosmetics near to your eyes while you’re healing. Your eyes generally do a very good job of keeping themselves clean – however, your doctor might suggest some eye drops that will make certain this is the case.
And – to prevent any reoccurrence going forward, it’s worth making absolutely sure your hands are always clean, old make-up and brushes are discarded after 6 months or so – and contact lenses are handled as hygienically as possible. You can’t always prevent styes and chalazia – but you can stack the odds in your favour.