Chalazion

A chalazion is the chronic, painless inflammation of a blocked oil gland in the eyelid.

Overview

A chalazion is the chronic, painless inflammation of a blocked oil gland in the eyelid. These glands produce oil that lubricates the surface of the eye. Such lumps are generally harmless and often go away on their own. A doctor should be consulted for lasting or recurrent chalazia. Warm compresses can provide relief.

Symptoms

Main symptoms

  • Painless lump on the eyelid
    • Slow-growing
    • Grapeseed- to hazelnut-sized
    • Primarily a cosmetic problem
    • Eyelashes don’t fall out

Complications

Causes and treatment

Causes

  • Blocking of the (meibomian) oil glands along the edge of the eyelids by sebum
  • Risk factors:

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Examination of the eyelid
Possible therapies
  • Waiting (often heals spontaneously)
  • Warm compresses
  • Infrared treatment
  • Eye drops or ointment, if necessary
  • Surgical removal (if it doesn’t disappear)

What can I do myself?

  • Warm compresses
    • Put on affected eyelid for 3 to 5 minutes, 1 to 2 times per day
    • As warm as you can handle, ideally around 39 degrees (to soften the oil blocking the glands)
  • With soft pressure, massage eyelid towards the eyelashes
    • With clean fingertips or cotton buds
  • Daily cleaning of eyelid
    • Diluted baby shampoo and cotton buds or cotton pads
    • Only use this solution once, prepare fresh every time

When to see a doctor?

  • Chalazion doesn’t go away
  • Recurrent chalazia
  • Visual problems
  • General impairment
  • Severely reddened, fever

Synonyms

chalazion, eyelid cyst

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Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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