A chalazion is a benign, painless bump in the upper or lower eyelid. A chalazion is formed when an oil gland in the eye becomes blocked and subsequently fills with blocked lipids (normal secretions that lubricate the eye) and pus, causing red, swollen eyelids.
Chalazia (plural for chalazion) are common, and most resolve on their own do not need medical treatment. To help speed healing, use a warm compress and gently massage the eyelid with clean, sterile fingers. If a chalazion persists, grows larger, or interferes with vision, it may need to be removed by a doctor.
What Causes a Chalazion?
There are almost 100 meibomian glands in the eyelid, located near the eyelashes. When the duct that drains the gland is blocked, the fluid becomes backed up inside the gland and forms a chalazion. A chalazion may also form as a result of an eyelid infection.
What are the symptoms of a chalazion?
- A bump or lump in the upper or lower eyelid
- Tenderness of the eyelid
- Sensitivity to light
- Excessive tearing
- Blurry vision
What is the treatment for a chalazion?
Chalazia usually resolve on their own, over the course of time. It can take a few months before they disappear. To treat a chalazion, the following options are available:
- Warm compresses applied four times a day for 10 to 15 minutes each time
- Antibiotic ointment
- Steroid injection
- Surgical drainage
When surgical drainage is indicated, older children and adults may undergo the surgical drainage procedure in a doctor’s office under local anesthesia. General anesthesia is usually recommended for a chalazion removal in young children. If a chalazion recurs in the same place, a tissue biopsy may be conducted in order to rule out a more serious issue.