What Is a Chalazion?

A chalazion is a small, usually painless, lump or swelling that appears on your eyelid. It occurs when a meibomian gland, an oil gland in the eyelid, becomes clogged and inflamed. Unlike a stye, which is an infection of an eyelash follicle, a chalazion is generally not caused by an infection and tends to develop farther back on the eyelid.

Symptoms of a Chalazion:

While chalazions are often painless, they can become uncomfortable if they grow large. Symptoms can include:

  • A lump on the upper or lower eyelid
  • Mild irritation or tearing
  • Swelling of the eyelid
  • Blurred vision, if the chalazion is large enough to press against the eye

Treatment for a Chalazion:

Chalazions often go away on their own within a few weeks to a month. To treat a chalazion at home:

  • Warm Compresses: Apply a warm compress to the eyelid for 10 to 15 minutes, several times a day. This can help the blocked gland to open and drain.
  • Gentle Massage: After applying the warm compress, gently massage the area to promote drainage.
  • Maintain Eyelid Hygiene: Regularly cleaning the eyelid with mild soap and water can prevent further blockages.

If a chalazion persists or interferes with vision, consult an eye care professional. In some cases, they may recommend medical treatments, such as steroid injections or surgical removal.

Prevention of a Chalazion:

To help prevent chalazions:

  • Practice good eyelid hygiene, especially if you are prone to this condition.
  • Remove eye makeup completely before bed.
  • Avoid using old or contaminated eye makeup.
  • Keep your hands clean and avoid touching your eyes with dirty hands.

To learn more about a chalazion, its causes, diagnosis, and surgical options, visit your optometrist.

Please note that this information is provided for informational purposes only and should not substitute professional medical advice. If you suspect you have a chalazion or any eye-related concerns, it is important to consult with an eye care professional for a proper evaluation and personalized recommendations.