Chalazion

dry-eyes-chalazionA chalazion in your eyelid causes by inflammation of one of the oil producing glands in your eyelid. A chalazion may appear as a red, tender, swollen area of the eyelid. Within a day or so, the area will begin to grow into a lump – sometimes the size of a pea. Often times they may be confused with sties, which are also areas of swelling in the eyelid. A sty is an infection of an oil gland in the eyelid. It produces a red, swollen, painful lump on the edge or inside surface of the eyelid. Sties usually occur closer to the surface of the eyelid than do a chalazion.

A chalazion is generally not due to an infection, but results from a blockage of the oil gland itself. However, a chalazion may occur as an after-effect of a sty. Most chalazia disappear without treatment in several weeks to a month. However, they often recur. Rarely, they may be an indication of an infection or skin cancer.

Symptoms

  • Appearance of a painless bump or lump in the upper eyelid, or, less commonly, in the lower eyelid
  • Tearing
  • Blurred vision, if the chalazion is large enough to press against the eyeball

Causes

A chalazion can develop when the oil produced by glands within the eyelids becomes thickened and is unable to flow out of the gland. The oil builds up inside the gland and forms a lump in the eyelid. Eventually the gland may break open and release the oil into the surrounding tissue causing an inflammation of the eyelid.

Treatment

Many chalazia require minimal medical treatment, resolving on their own in a few weeks to a month. To facilitate healing, warm compresses can be applied to the eyelid for 10-15 minutes, 4 to 6 times a day for several days. The warm compresses may help soften the hardened oil that is blocking the ducts thereby promoting drainage and healing.

If the chalazion does not drain and heal within a month, contact our office at 866-340-EYES. Don’t attempt to squeeze or drain the chalazion yourself.