A chalazion is benign lump on the upper or lower eyelid that is caused by blockage of an oil gland. Chalazia may increase in size over the course of several days to weeks and can become inflamed and painful. Most chalazia resolve on their own with self-care at home, but to deal with persistent inflammation it may be necessary to undergo treatment from an eye doctor.
What is chalazion?
A chalazion is a bump or nodule filled with the pus and fatty secretions that normally drain from the eye. A chalazion is not an infection of the eye; rather, it is an inflammation caused by a blocked oil gland.
Chalazia usually drain without assistance, but the process can be facilitated by the application of warm compresses to the eye several times a day. However, some chalazia grow large enough to press on the cornea, causing blurry vision. When chalazia stop responding to treatment it may be necessary to remove them.
Symptoms of chalazion
A chalazion looks like a small lump on the eyelid, although they can grow in size to as large as one eighth of an inch. Here are a few symptoms associated with a chalazion growth:
Causes of chalazion
Each eyelid contains oil glands (meibomiam glands) near the eyelashes that are designed to lubricate the eye. When the glands become obstructed, oil begins to build up inside the gland, forming a bump on the eyelid.
People with blepharitis and/or rosacea are more prone to developing a chalazion.
Treatment of chalazion
A chalazion will disappear on its own if the blockage goes away. Warm compresses applied several times a day can help to promote drainage and reduce inflammation. When chalazia continue to grow in size, doctors can prescribe antibiotics or perform an in-office procedure to clear the contents of the growth.
It is important not to squeeze or try to pop a chalazion. To treat a chalazion at home, hold a warm towel over the eyelid for 5 to 10 minutes several times a day followed by lightly massaging the area.
If any pain or vision change is experienced visit your eye doctor for treatment.