Bumps & Lumps of the Eye (Styes & Chalazion): An Integrative Medical Approach

A stye is an infection of the eyelid caused by Staphylococcus bacteria. It tends to be smaller and more superficial than a meibomian gland abscess (chalazion). A stye can result in swelling on the inside or outside of the eyelid or cause a general eyelid inflammation. If the external portion of the eyelid is swollen, the stye involves inflammation of a hair follicle and its associated glands. Swelling on the underside of the eyelid involves the oil glands (meibomian glands). The swelling increases for about a week or so and then generally begins to subside, sometimes rupturing. The fluid that seeps out from a ruptured stye can be blotted away gently with a clean white cloth and is nothing to worry about. People with very oily eyelids or blepharitis (oily eyelids that can become infected) can have recurring styes.

Chalazion is a common condition that is essentially an abscess of the meibomian gland (the oil gland of the lid margin) caused by infection with Staphyloccoccus aureus.  A chalazion is easily mistaken for a stye, which is a chronic inflammation (a bump) on the eyelid. A chalazion is larger than a stye, however. It is found inside the eyelid itself. A chalazion points either toward the outside of the eyelid or toward the inside (toward the eye).

Conventional Treatment

Hot compresses and antibiotic eyedrops or ointments are used to attack the staph infection.

Complementary Approach

Diet: 

  1. Wash the eyelids carefully with gentle soap and warm compresses several times a day. This prevents the excess oil secreted by the hair follicle glands from providing fertile ground for the growth of staph use  a lid scrub with hypochlorus acid
  2. Chamomile compresses. Boil chamomile tea and let it cool slightly. Put a clean washcloth in the tea and apply it to the eyelid, or apply a teabag after seeping directly to the eyelid.
  3. Take echinacea, garlic and goldenseal

Oriental Medicine Approach:

In TCM, styes and chalazium  are considered the result of an  infection generated by the environment or an internal imbalance from a dysfunction of the spleen and stomach meridians. When the spleen and stomach are not working properly, the ability of the body to transport fluids in the eyes stagnates and styes and chalazium scan result

Herbal remedies

Burdock root (Arctium lappa) – a liver tonic and lymphatic cleanser. Burdock root is used for skin conditions such as styes and boils.

Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia)one of the most popular immune boosters. Echinacea not only supports the body’s ability to fight its own battles by enhancing immune response, but it has its own antibacterial and antiseptic qualities.

Forsythia (Forsythia suspensa) a “cooling” herb, shown to inhibit viral and bacterial infections, including those caused by Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and Salmonella.

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) potent antibiotic and antiseptic.

Honeysuckle (Lonicerae japonicae) clears the “heat” of infection and inflammation and alleviates the swelling of styes. A natural antibiotic, honeysuckle has been shown to inhibit viral and bacterial infections, including Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and Salmonella.

Chrysanthemum flower (Chrysanthemum morifoli) – herb with antibiotic properties. Chrysanthemum is used in relieving heat in the eyes.

Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) – good for internal and external inflammatory conditions of the eyes.

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) good for inflammatory conditions.

Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus) – an astringent herb that helps break up mucus in the eyes.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) – good for inflammatory conditions, used for external eye conditions.

For more information on a Integrative Medical Approach to Styes and chalazium, see Dr Grossman’s website www.naturaleyecare.com

 

Marc Grossman, Doctor of Optometry and New York State Licensed Acupuncturist is author of several books, including Natural Eye Care – Your Guide to Healthy Vision.  Since 1980 Dr. Marc Grossman has helped many people maintain healthy vision and even improve eyesight. He is best described as a Holistic Eye Doctor, dedicated to helping people with such conditions ranging from myopia and dry eyes to potentially vision threatening diseases as macular degeneration and glaucoma. His combined multi-disciplinary approach using nutrition, eye exercises, lifestyle changes and Chinese Medicine provides him with a wide array of tools and approaches to tackle difficult eye problems. Dr. Grossman founded the Rye Learning Center in 1980, a multidisciplinary center for learning problems, in 1996 co-founded Integral Health Associates in New Paltz, New York, and in 1999 co-founded Natural Eye Care, Inc. For more information go to www.naturaleyecare.com or call 845-255-8222.


How to Take Care of Your Eyes by Dr. Marc Grossman, OD, LAc

Headaches, squinting and eyes that burn, ache, water or tire easily are indications that the visual system needs help. Most people are born with the potential for good eyes and sight. Vision, however, is learned. And the way you use and care for your visual system directly affects your enjoyment of play, school or work. Your visual system can undergo tremendous stress.

Read More.
Filed Under:

Integrative Vision Care & Nutrition by Marc Grossman, OD, LAc

Mind/Body medicine is based on the fact that our health and well-being depend on all the individual parts to work together effectively. So it should come as no surprise that healthy eyesight is also dependent upon our total well-being, which is affected by our genetic makeup, the food we eat, our work environment and exposure to airborne toxins, as well as our general belief systems about ourselves and the world we live in.

Read More.

Bumps on the Eyes: Home Remedies by Marc Grossman, OD, LAc

A chalazion (sha-LAY-zee-on), is a cyst-like bump in the upper or lower eyelid due to a blocked meibomian (mī-ˈbō-mē-ən) gland. While chalazia (plural) and styes can look similar, they have different causes and characteristics. Styes (also called hordeolum), like chalazia, are characterized by a blocked oil gland; however, unlike chalazia, styes are caused by bacterial infections. This means that they almost always involve redness and soreness, and localized swelling in the eye, which is not typically the case with chalazia.

Read More.
Filed Under:

The Zoom Epidemic by Marc Grossman, OD, LAc

What is the most common theme among everyone today from students, gas station attendants, doctors, teachers, family gatherings, etc? They are all on their computers or phones as a way to connect with each other. Here are ways to help reduce some of the negative effects that your omputer /cell phones can have on you…

Read More.
Filed Under:

How to Fight Viruses by Michael Edson, MS, LAc and Marc Grossman, OD, LAc

What are the best ways to avoid catching a virus? The Centers for Disease Control tell us to wash our hands frequently and thoroughly. Wash for 20 seconds with soap and warm, running water. Avoid touching your face and eyes with dirty hands. If your doctor recommends a flu shot, listen to their advice, particularly relevant for elders and people with immunity concerns.

Read More.

Top 10 Tips to Protect Your Eyes from the Sun by Marc Grossman, OD, LAc

The skin and the eyes are the two parts of the body that get direct contact with the sun. The sun’s rays can burn the outer layers of the eyes, just as the rays can burn the skin. Sunglasses help your eyes filter light and they protect the eyes from ultraviolet light that may contribute to conditions such as-cataracts and macular degeneration.

Read More.
Filed Under:

Acupressure Exercises for Better Eye Health by Marc Grossman OD, LAc

Acupuncture/acupressure is an ancient system of healing developed over thousands of years as part of the traditional medicine of China, Japan and other Eastern countries. The practice of acupuncture is thought to have begun with the discovery that the stimulation of specific areas on the skin affects the functioning of certain organs of the body, and that there exists currents of energy that flow in distinct patterns throughout the body called meridians. The belief and experience has been that when these currents of energy are flowing smoothly, there is health, when any of these currents are blocked there is pain and disease.

Read More.
Filed Under:

A New Look at Eye Exams by Marc Grossman, OD, LAc

Getting a thorough eye exam has always been about more than reading letters off an eye chart. That’s even more true today. One reason: We’re harder on our eyes than ever before. Many of us spend hours each day staring and squinting at screens, developing digital eyestrain and exposing our eyes to potentially damaging blue light. But the typical tests offered during a standard eye exam, even one during which your pupils are dilated, may not go far enough to find problems as early as possible.

Read More.
Filed Under:

Surviving & Thriving in a Technological World by Marc Grossman OD, LAc

Technology impacts and shapes our lives in countless ways. Our technologies surely bestow benefits, but our relationship to technology is often fraught with imbalance. In particular, our vision suffers from the hours we gaze at two dimensional screens. The good news is that, as part of the brain, our eyes share in our brain’s innate adaptability. The not so great news is that modern demands on vision, especially our constant focus on close-up screens, is causing our eyes to make unhealthy adaptations. But there’s more good news—you can do something about that! Here’s how…

Read More.
Filed Under: