What is a chalazion?
A chalazion is a blockage in a small duct in your eyelid that can result in a small bump and eyelid swelling. Each of your eyelids has small glands called meibomian glands located near the eyelashes, which produce one of the oils that lubricates your eye. When these glands cannot release their oil because their duct is blocked, the oil backs up and causes a bump.
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A chalazion is not the result of an infection, although it can follow an infection of the eye. An infection of these same small ducts is called a stye, which may resemble a chalazion but is usually quite painful and tender, while a chalazion is less painful. A chalazion can grow to the size of a marble in extreme circumstances.
A chalazion is typically mild and requires no special treatment other than the application of a warm, damp compress several times a day to help loosen the oil blocking the duct. If a chalazion grows too large or cannot be resolved with a compress, it may be surgically removed.
Seek prompt medical care if a bump on the eyelid remains for more than a month, if your vision is affected by the bump, or if the bump continues to grow despite treatment.
What are the symptoms of a chalazion?
Symptoms of a chalazion include the formation of a small bump near the eyelashes on the eyelid. The bump may increase in size, and the entire eyelid may become tender. Swelling of the eyelid surrounding the chalazion is also common. Less commonly, a chalazion may get very large and require surgical removal.... Read more about chalazion symptoms
What causes a chalazion?
When oil from the meibomian glands, which are located in the eyelids near the eyelashes, clogs the duct from which it is usually released, you develop a chalazion. The meibomian glands produce one of the oils that lubricates your eye. If the gland is plugged, oil builds up in the gland and leads to the development of a bump on your eyelid. The cause of a chalazion is not infection, although it may sometimes follow an eye infection, and a chalazion is not contagious.... Read more about chalazion causes
How is a chalazion treated?
The mainstay of treatment for chalazion is the application of a warm, damp compress, typically a clean washcloth, for 10 to 15 minutes four to six times each day until the chalazion resolves. The warmth from the compress helps to loosen the oils that are clogging the duct. You can gently massage the area with the warm compress to assist in relieving the blockage. Because the eyelids are delicate, it is important to be gentle, and you should not try to force or drain the chalazion yourself. In rare cases, a chalazion that will not resolve on its own must... Read more about chalazion treatments