Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A chalazion is a lump in the eyelid that is caused by inflammation of a gland within the skin. Typically , this lump grows over days to weeks and is occasionally red, warm, or painful. A chalazion is caused by the oil in the gland becoming too thick to flow out of the gland. This oil blocks the gland, but the gland still produces more oil. Without anywhere to go, the oil builds up inside the gland and forms a lump in the eyelid. Eventually, the gland ruptures (breaks open) and releases the oil into the tissue of the eyelid, causing inflammation.

A chalazion is not a sty .A sty can resemble a chalazion in the sense that it is also a lump in the eyelid. However, a sty involves glands and eyelash hair follicles that are closer to the skin surface of the eyelid. In addition, a sty is usually more painful and looks infected.


  • Swelling of the upper eyelid may occur gradually over weeks. The condition rarely involves the lower eyelid.
  • A chalazion appears as a localized hard lump that may grow as large as an eighth of an inch.
  • Occasionally, you may feel pain and your eyelid may be red.


Self-Care at Home
  • Warm compresses may be helpful. Hold a warm, wet towel on the eyelid for 10-15 minutes, 2-4 times a day, to reduce swelling.
  • Lightly massage the area several times a day .
  • Do not “pop” or scratch the chalazion.

When to Seek Medical Care

You should call your ophthalmologist if eyelid redness or swelling does not improve with warm towel compresses in 3-4 days. You should contact your ophthalmologist immediately if you have frequent bouts of eyelid swelling or if you experience any of the following:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Any visual changes (eg, blurred vision, decreased ability to see)
  • Eye pain or drainage
  • Extensive swelling or redness
  • If both the upper eyelid and the lower eyelid of one eye are swollen
  • If both eyes are swollen

Medical treatment

  • Treatment of the chalazion may include the following:
  • Application of war m compresses for about 15 minutes, 2-4 times a day, to reduce swelling
  • A prescription for antibi otic eyedrops or ointments if a bacterial infection is suspected to be the cause
  • Injection of a steroid medicine to help decrease the inflammation
  • Surgical removal of the lump if it creates symp toms or lasts for weeks


(Click on the image to view full size)

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP