A young El Salvadorian child went to a hospital in Sonsonante because he had a cyst, known as a chalazion, growing on his left eye.
Chalazia (plural form) are very common, and normally only grow to about the size of a pea. However, the child’s chalazion cyst was much larger, so large, in fact, that it completely blocked all vision through that eye.
A chalazion is very similar to a stye, something many people have heard of and are familiar with. Both are caused by clogged, blocked oil glands that line the edge of the eyelids. Much like a pimple, the blockage causes the gland to swell with oil and pus. The primary difference between them is that a stye is infected, where a chalazion is not. A stye can even become infected if the immune system successfully fights off the infection, but with the blockage remaining intact.
In many cases a warm damp cloth is helpful in loosening the clog, which then allows the cyst to drain. Other times the cyst is more stubborn, and needs to be incised and drained manually by an eyecare professional. Only in rare cases does a stye or chalazion grow to more than a centimeter across.
Once at the hospital, the boy (who is unidentified) is treated by Dr. Alberto Cota, who drained the cyst by slicing into the eyelid, this allowed the fluid quickly drain out of the swollen mass, the eyelid then rapidly shrank back closer to it’s normal size.