What are eyelid injuries?

Eyelid lesions are abnormal cell changes in and around the eyelids. They can be benign or malignant in nature and are associated with a wide variety of causes. The evaluation of a patient with eyelid injuries is usually done by an ophthalmologist, a doctor who specializes in the care of the eye and related structures. Specialists in fields such as oculoplastics may also be involved in diagnosis and treatment, depending on the type of injury.

Lesions can appear on the eyelids as a result of inflammation, infection, abnormal cell growth, or trauma. When a patient presents with an eyelid injury, a physician will examine the eyelid carefully, noting any physical findings. A biopsy sample may be taken. The patient will also be interviewed to collect medically relevant information, such as a history of eye infections. All of this information will be used to develop a diagnosis for the patient.

For some eyelid injuries, treatment can be relatively simple. Medications may be prescribed to treat inflammation and infection, and patients may be advised to do things like gently irrigate their eyes or apply compresses to promote healing. A follow-up appointment will be used to confirm that the injury is resolved, and the patient can make some lifestyle changes to prevent further injury, such as avoiding allergens that cause eyelid swelling.

Other eyelid injuries require more aggressive treatment. Surgery may be required to remove a lesion if there is concern about malignancy. Depending on the size of the lesion, reconstructive surgery may be necessary to repair the eyelid. Patients may also need chemotherapy and radiation to kill lingering abnormal cells and prevent the development and spread of cancer. Skin cancers such as melanoma can appear on the eyelids and are sometimes very aggressive, requiring prompt and careful treatment.

Some eyelid growths may look unsightly, but they may actually be benign. Conversely, relatively minor changes may indicate a serious problem. If people notice areas of redness, roughness, swelling, or unusual cell growth on their eyelids, they should make an appointment to see a doctor for evaluation. If samples need to be taken, patients should be told that it may take several days to get results, and doctors are generally unwilling to speculate on the nature of an injury until they have factual information. People concerned about eyelid injuries may want to ask if there is anything constructive they can do while they wait for results.

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