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

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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