Eyelid Disorders

Your eyelids block light, help your eyes stay moist and protect them from debris. Your eye doctor will check your eyelids as well as your eyes at your regular examination, just to make sure the eyelids are healthy. You might also develop an eyelid disorder that needs care.

Eyelid close up from side

Bumps, infections and irritation

One of the most common eyelid disorders is called a stye. It is a red bump that can happen when you get an infection or inflammation at the base of one of your eyelashes. Styes can be painful, but are not usually dangerous. A bump that is not painful is probably a chalazion, caused by a plugged oil gland near your eye.

Pinkeye, or conjunctivitis, is another common eyelid disorder. It happens when the tissue that connects your eye and eyelid gets inflamed. Your eye can look red, leak fluid, and feel itchy, painful or both. Bacteria or a virus cause pinkeye. It spreads easily to other people, so you might want to stay home while you have it.


Blepharitis of top eyelid

Blepharitis happens when bacteria and flakes of skin build up at the base of your eyelashes. It is pronounced “bleff-uh-RYE-tus.” Your eyelids might look red and feel sore or irritated. Having blepharitis is similar to having dandruff on your scalp. Treatments include gently washing your eyelids with antibacterial soap or shampoo at least once a day. Your eye doctor might also ask you to put warm compresses on the area, or do gentle heat treatments in the office. You might also need eye drops or antibiotics.

Blepharitis can happen if you have dry eyes or problems with your oil glands. It cannot be cured, but treatment usually takes care of the problem.

Meibomian gland problems

The meibomian glands are small glands in your eyelids. You pronounce them “my-BOW-me-un” glands. They make an oily substance that mixes with the water and other material in your eye’s natural tears. The oil from these glands helps keep the other fluids on your eye’s surface. This keeps your eyes moist and comfortable.

Problems with the meibomian glands can cause dry eye and other conditions. For example, the glands can become blocked. This keeps the oils from reaching your eyes as they should. Treatments include warm compresses, gentle eyelid massage, and special wipes or soap to unblock the glands. Your doctor might also ask you to take fish oil supplements to raise the amount of natural oils in your system. You might also need eye drops or other treatments.

Learn more about eyelid conditions from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Drooping eyelid

The upper eyelid sometimes droops, or falls downward, to cover the eye more than usual when you are awake. The medical term for this is ptosis (pronounced “TOE-sis”). This can happen with age, an injury or a procedure that caused your eyelid to droop.

Dr. Lyons is experienced at doing surgery to correct this problem. In surgery, she can raise the drooping eyelid tissue so it no longer covers your eye.

Insurance usually pays for ptosis surgery (surgery for a drooping eyelid) if it is causing a problem with your sight. This is not the same as having your eyelids “lifted” so you look younger. The medical term for that is “cosmetic eyelid lift,” or “eyelid lift.” Eye doctors also do this type of surgery, but insurance might not pay because you do not have a medical need for it.

Learn about drooping eyelid, or ptosis, from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

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Lyons Eye Care - Portland Location
1320 NE 106th Ave
Portland, OR 97220

Lyons Eye Care - Gearhart Location
3348 Hwy 101 N Unit D
Gearhart, OR 97138