DefinitionA chalazion is a non-infectious, hard lump that forms on the eyelid.
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CausesA chalazion can form when the oil produced from a gland of the eyelid thickens and can no longer flow. When the oil hardens, it blocks the gland and causes a lump to form in the eyelid. This condition can recur.
Risk FactorsFactors that may increase your chance of a chalazion:
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Acne rosacea
- History of chalazia or styes
- Inflammation of the eyelids—blepharitis
- Not removing eye makeup completely
SymptomsThe initial symptom is a small swelling on the eyelid. It may look like a stye. It may or may not be painful. After a few days, the lump on the eyelid often begins to harden. A chalazion can rarely cause complications, which may include:
- Localized infection at the site of the chalazion (stye)
- Visual problems due to the chalazion pushing against and distorting the shape of the eye
DiagnosisYou will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. An eye exam will be done. Rarely, a sample of fluid from the chalazion is taken and tested in a lab.
TreatmentA chalazion will often disappear on its own. Treatment may include:
Self CareA warm compress is applied to the affected eyelid several times a day. Follow with gentle massage.
MedicationCorticosteroid is injected into the chalazion. This is done by an ophthalmologist, but is rarely required. Antibiotics may also be used if an infection (stye) develops.
SurgeryAn incision may be made near the chalazion to allow it to drain. The procedure is usually performed in the office with a local anesthetic. Surgery may be done if the chalazion does not respond to other treatments. It may also be considered if the chalazion is large, grows rapidly, or causes vision problems.
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