Contact Us | Patient Portal | Search:
Printer Friendly VersionEmail A FriendAdd ThisIncrease Text SizeDecrease Text Size

Chalazion

 

Definition

A chalazion is a small bump in the eyelid caused by a blockage of a tiny oil gland.

Alternative Names

Meibomian gland lipogranuloma

Causes

A chalazion develops in the glands that produce the fluid that lubricates the eye. These are called Meibomian glands. The eyelid has approximately 100 of these glands, which are located near the eyelashes.

A chalazion is caused by a blockage of the duct that drains one of these glands.

Symptoms
Signs and tests

An exam of the eyelid confirms the diagnosis.

Rarely, the Meibomian gland duct may be blocked by a skin cancer. If this is suspected, you may need a biopsy.

Support Groups

Expectations (prognosis)

Chalazia usually heal on their own. The outcome with treatment is usually excellent.

Calling your health care provider

Apply warm compresses and call your health care provider if the swelling gets worse or continues for longer than 1 month.

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if lumps on the eyelid continue to get bigger despite treatment, or you have an area of eyelash loss.

Complications

A large chalazion can cause astigmatism due to pressure on the cornea. This will get better when the chalazion is treated.

Treatments

A chalazion will often disappear without treatment in a month or so.

The primary treatment is to apply warm compresses for 10-15 minutes at least four times a day. This may soften the hardened oils blocking the duct, and promote drainage and healing.

If the chalazion continues to get bigger, it may need to be removed with surgery. This is usually done from underneath the eyelid to avoid a scar on the skin.

Antibiotic eye drops are usually used several days before and after the cyst is removed. However, they are not much use otherwise in treating a chalazion.

Steroid injection is another treatment option.

Prevention

Properly cleaning the eyelid may prevent the condition from returning in people who are prone to chalazia. Cleaning the eyelash area with baby shampoo will help reduce clogging of the ducts.

References

Papier A, Tuttle DJ, Mahar TJ. Differential diagnosis of the swollen red eyelid. Am Fam Physician. 2007;76:1815-1824.


Images
Eye
Read More

Review Date: 10/6/2008
Reviewed By: Paul B. Griggs, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2009 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
MAIMONIDES
MEDICAL CENTER


Home Page
Why Choose Us
Donations
Website Terms of Use
PATIENT
INFORMATION


Visitor & Patient Info
Patient Portal
We Speak Your Language
Patient Privacy
Contact Us
KEY
INFORMATION


Find a Physician
Medical Services
Maimonides In the News
Directions & Parking
FOR HEALTH
PROFESSIONALS


Medical Education
Career Opportunities
Nurses & Physicians
Staff Intranet Access

Maimonides Medical Center    |    4802 Tenth Avenue    |    Brooklyn, NY 11219    |    718.283.6000