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Chalazion- Causes and Treatment

Medikoe Health Expert

Medikoe Health Expert

  Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru     Sep 29, 2020

   5 min     



A chalazion is a small lump or swelling that develops on your eyelid. It may begin as a small, red, tender area in the eyelid. Days later, it may transform into a painless lump in the eyelid.

A blocked meibomian or oil gland is responsible for this condition. It can appear on the upper or lower eyelid and may disappear without any treatment. A chalazion is a name for multiple chalazia.

A chalazion is sometimes confused with another internal or external bump that can appear on the eyelid called a stye. Unlike a chalazion, a stye is begun by a bacterial infection in the origin of the eyelash, and the bump develops at the edge of the eyelid. Whereas an internal stye is an infection of a meibomian gland, an external stye is an infection in the area of the eyelash follicle and sweat gland. 

A stye is painful, and a chalazion generally is not. A chalazion may occur after styes. Also, a chalazion emerges farther back on the eyelid. However, the treatment for both conditions is similar. 

Causes of Chalazion

A chalazion develops when the opening of an oil-producing gland or meibomian gland in the eyelid becomes clogged. Oil-producing glands trace the eyelids and assist in lubricating the surface of the eye. When the opening of the gland gets obstructed, oil lines up in the interior of the gland, making the eyelid to swell. Subsequent to the initial redness and when the swelling goes away, a thick lump forms in the eyelid.

Symptoms of Chalazion

Signs and symptoms of a chalazion involve:

  • Painless lump or swelling in the eyelid that gradually increases over the first week
  • Inflammation of the membrane that covers the surface of the eye and internal surface of the eyelid called as conjunctiva)
  • Blurred or distorted eyesight
  • Red or a grey area on the interior of the eyelid

Risk factors of Chalazion

Anyone can suffer from a chalazion. However, you may be more inclined to get a chalazion if you:

  • Already have had a chalazion or stye before
  • Have an eye issue like blepharitis (an inflammation of the eyelids)
  • Have specific skin ailments, such as acne rosacea or seborrheic dermatitis

Diagnosis of Chalazion

In a lot of cases, a doctor can diagnose this condition only by taking a close look at the lump or swelling on your eyelid. Your doctor will also inquire about your signs and symptoms to ascertain if the swelling or bump is a chalazion, a stye, or something else.

Treatment of Chalazion

Some chalazia will go away on its own without needing any proper treatment. But, if your doctor does prescribe you to opt for a treatment, options may include: 

Homely treatment

Most small chalazia will disappear on their own within 2 to 8 weeks. However, to attend them heal quicker, chalazia can be managed at home with self-care. Treat as follows:

  • Apply a warm washcloth to the eyelid. You should practice a warm compress to your eyelid using the washcloth for at least four times a day and nearly 10 to 15 minutes at a time. This will help in reducing the swelling by softening the oils in the obstructed or blocked gland. The warm washcloth helps the clogged gland to open and drain. Rewarm washcloth as required by soaking it in warm water. Strain out excess water, then reapply to the eyelid.

  • Smoothly wiping off the eye drainage. You may be asked by your health expert to practice wiping away the eyelid drainage with mild soap such as Johnson’s baby shampoo and water or eyelid wipes, which are available in drug stores.

  • Gentle massage to the lump. Your doctor may also advise you to massage the lump a few times per day gently or to rub your eyelid delicately. Your doctor may also prescribe you any eye drops or eyelid creams. 

Also, follow these tips:

  • Do not try to push on or squeeze a chalazion. It’s more suitable if you touch it as little as you can.

  • Do not rub or touch your eyelid with unwashed hands. Be assured that you clean your hands every time before you touch the eye area.

  • Do not wear makeup or contact lenses until the area has fully healed.

Medical treatment

A large chalazion or the one that does not go away even after 2 to 8 weeks of self-care may necessitate medical treatment by a health professional. Your doctor may prescribe you a corticosteroid injection or a surgical procedure. The therapeutic procedures or treatments given by doctors include:

  • Steroid injection to lessen the swelling

  • In-office surgery (performed under local anaesthesia) to drain the chalazion

Both the incision or injection and surgery are powerful treatments.

The selection of chalazion treatment depends on numerous different factors which your doctor will explain, including the benefits and risks, before you take the relevant decisions.

Prevention of Chalazion

It’s not always practicable to prevent or avoid developing a chalazion. This is exceptionally true if you’re inclined to this type of eye problems or conditions. But there are a few other things that you can remember and practice to prevent this condition:

  • Regularly wash your hands before touching your infected eye area.

  • Make sure that anything whichever comes in contact with your eyes, such as glasses or contact lenses, is clean.

  • If you already have a condition that raises your chance of developing chalazia, consult to the doctor and follow their instructions to help control them.

  • Cleanse your face to discard dirt and/or makeup before going to bed.

  • Throw away all old-used or expired makeup products. Replace your mascaras and eye shadow palettes in every 2 to 3 months. Never share or use the other person’s makeup.

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Tags:  eyes,bacterial infections,Allergies and Infections,lump on eyelid, eye infection, eye problem, blurred vision, no makeup before sleep, cleaning of eyes, ophthalmologist, eye doctor

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