A chalazion is a swelling in the eyelid caused by
inflammation of one of the small oil producing glands located in the upper and
lower eyelids. A chalazion is sometimes confused with a stye, which also
appears as a lump in the eyelid, but is an infection of a lash follicle that
forms a red, sore lump. Chalazions tend to occur farther from the edge of the
eyelid than styes and tend to “point” toward the inside of the eyelid.
Sometimes a chalazion can cause the entire eyelid to swell suddenly, but
usually there is a definite tender point.
When a chalazion is small and without symptoms, it may
disappear on its own. If the chalazion is large, it may cause blurred vision.
Chalazions are treated with any or a combination of the following methods:
· Warm compresses can be applied. The simplest way is to
hold a clean washcloth, soaked in hot water, against the closed lid. Do this
for five to ten minutes, three or four times a day. Repeatedly soak the
washcloth in hot water to maintain adequate heat. The majority of chalazions
will disappear within a few weeks. Sometimes antibiotic ointments are used in
combination with warm compresses.
· Surgical incision or excision may be used to remove large
chalazions which do not respond to other treatments.
Chalazions usually respond well to treatment, although
some people are prone to recurrences. If a chalazion recurs in the same place,
your ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) may suggest a biopsy to rule out more serious