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Chalazion

A chalazion is a swelling in the eyelid caused by inflammation of one of the small oil-producing glands located in the upper and lower eyelids.A chalazion is sometimes confused with a stye, which also appears as a lump in the eyelid.  However, a stye is an infection of a lash follicle and forms a red, sore lump.

Chalazions tend to occur farther from the edge of the eyelid than styes and tend to “point” toward the inside of the eyelid.

Sometimes a chalazion can cause the entire eyelid to swell suddenly, but usually there is a particular tender point.

When a chalazion is small and without symptoms, it may disappear on its own.  If the chalazion is large, it may cause blurred vision.

Chalazions are treated with any or a combination of the following methods:

  • Warm compresses help to clear the clogged gland;
  • Antibiotic ointments may be prescribed if bacteria infect the chalazion;
  • Steroid injections may be used to reduce inflammation;
  • Surgery may be used to drain a large chalazion if it does not respond to other treatments.  The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia in an out-patient clinic.

Chalazions usually respond well to treatment, although some people are prone to recurrences.

If a chalazion recurs in the same place, your ophthalmologist may suggest a biopsy to rule out problems that are more serious.

Information about eye conditions, disorders and treatments is presented courtesy of the Eye Physicians & Surgeons of Ontario.

Information about eye conditions, disorders and treatments is presented courtesy of the Eye Physicians & Surgeons of Ontario.