A chalazion is a non-infectious, hard lump that forms on the eyelid.
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A 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.
Factors that may increase your chance of a chalazion:
The 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:
You 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.
A chalazion will often disappear on its own. If needed, treatment may include:
A warm compress is applied to the affected eyelid several times a day. Follow with gentle massage.
Corticosteroid 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.
An 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.
Eyelid hygeiene can prevent the development of a chalazion:
American Optometric Association
Eye Smart—American Academpy of Ophthalmology
Canadian Ophthalmological Society
Chalazion. American Optometric Association website. Available at: http://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/eye-and-vision-problems/glossary-of-eye-and-vision-conditions/chalazion?sso=y. Accessed November 3, 2015.
Chalazion. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115631/Chalazion. Updated March 2, 2016. Accessed September 23, 2016.
What are chalazia and styes? American Academy of Ophthalmology Eye Smart website. Available at: http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/chalazion-stye/index.cfm. Updated September 1, 2013. Accessed November 3, 2015.
Last reviewed November 2015 by Michael Woods, MD
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