What is chalazion?

Chalazion is a small bulge on the eyelid. It is similar to a stye, which is an infection of the edge of the eyelid caused by bacteria. However, a chalazion is far from the edge and is usually not caused by bacteria.

Chalazion occurs when one of the small oil-producing glands in the eyelid is clogged. Oil secretions can be trapped and cause swelling of the eyelid.

Symptoms may include:

  • a red bulge on your eyelid
  • pain near the lump
  • swelling of part or all of the eyelid
  • rarely, blurred vision

Your doctor will examine your eye. It can send a sample of the tissue or fluid from around the lump to a laboratory to determine if there are bacteria or if the lump occurs for other reasons, such as cancer. Be sure to inform your doctor if you have any changes in your vision.

Sometimes a chalazion subsides without treatment.Usually, you will need to apply warm compresses to the closed eyelid. The compress is a clean cloth moistened with warm water. You may need to apply warm compresses for at least 10 to 15 minutes at a time, 3 to 4 times a day, for several days. Moist heat helps reduce inflammation and can help remove the plug that blocks the oil gland.If compresses do not relieve your symptoms, your doctor may prescribe steroids inthe form of drops or a form of injection into the lump. Other treatment may include antibiotics in the form of eye drops, ointment or pills.If the chalazion is still present after 6 weeks, an ophthalmologist may need to remove the lump during a minor surgery. Surgery is generally safe and effective.

Usually the symptoms disappear in 6 weeks. Some people often have chalazions and may need to take medications on a chronic basis.

You may be able to prevent the reappearance of chalazion using warm compresses and, in severe cases, drugs such as doxycycline.

Similar Medical Services