Get rid of chalazion

What Is a Chalazion?

This eyelid bump is common among adults, but it can cause complications if left untreated.

A chalazion, or meibomian cyst, is a type of localized, fluid-filled bump on the upper or lower eyelid.

Chalazia (plural of chalazion) are sometimes confused with styes, but the two eyelid problems are not the same.

A chalazion (pronounced ka-LAY-zee-un) is a firm and often-painless nodule that develops within the eyelid when the oil gland becomes obstructed or blocked.

Chalazia are common, though the exact prevalence of the eyelid cyst is unknown.

It develops most frequently in adults between the ages of 30 and 50, according to the American Optometric Association.

Chalazion Versus Hordeolum

A sty, or hordeolum, is a red and painful lump at the base your eyelashes, caused by a bacterial infection — typically by Staphylococcal bacteria — of an eyelid oil gland.

A sty on the inside of the eyelid can turn into a chalazion if it doesn’t heal properly, and a chalazion can become infected and produce a sty.

Chalazion Causes

Meibomian glands, or tarsal glands, are sebaceous oil glands located within your eyelids near your lashes.

They produce a thin, oily lubricant that prevents the evaporation of your eyes’ tear film.

If the lubricant is unable to flow out of the gland, it will build up and form a bump in your eyelid.

As the oily secretions accumulate, they may leak into the surrounding tissue, causing the eyelid to become inflamed.

Chalazia — as well as styes — are often a complication of blepharitis, a chronic inflammation of the eyelids.

Conditions that cause meibomian gland secretions to become unusually thick and unable to exit the gland, such as meibomian gland dysfunction and acne rosacea, may also cause chalazia to develop.

Additionally, you are at risk of developing a chalazion if you have:

  • Seborrhea, an inflammatory skin problem that results in a red rash and white scales (scalp seborrhea is known as dandruff)
  • Tuberculosis
  • Viral infections

Chalazia Symptoms and Complications

The primary symptom or sign of a chalazion is a painless lump inside your upper eyelid.

Less commonly, chalazia may develop inside your lower eyelid. A chalazion may also be accompanied by increased tearing.

If it’s progressed to the point of causing inflammation, it will cause the area around the cyst to become red, swollen, and painful.

By putting pressure on the cornea, a large chalazion in the middle of the eyelid may temporarily cause astigmatism, resulting in blurred vision.

Chalazia can also cause farsightedness (hyperopia), according to a 1997 report in the journal Ophthalmic Surgery, Lasers and Imaging Retina.

What’s more, chalazia can more easily induce vision problems in people who had LASIK eye surgery because the procedure weakens and thins the cornea.

According to a 2009 article in the journal Clinical Pediatrics, prolonged inflammation from a chalazion may lead to other complications, including:

  • Eyelid disfigurement
  • Pyogenic granuloma, a skin growth that resembles raw hamburger meat
  • An infection of the eyelid called preseptal or periorbital cellulitis

Chalazion Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis of a chalazion involves a comprehensive eye exam.

Your optometrist will start by obtaining your medical history to understand your symptoms and any health problems you may have that could contribute to your eyelid issues.

Your doctor will then examine your eyes, looking at your eyelid structure, skin texture, and the appearance of your eyelashes.

Finally, an optometrist will use bright light and magnifying tools to look at the margins of your eyelids, the base of your eyelashes, and the openings of your meibomian glands.

Though a chalazion can sometimes resemble other eyelid issues, including sties and cancer lesions, doctors generally diagnosis meibomian cysts correctly.

Most often, chalazia go away without treatment after a few weeks to a month.

To help the cysts heal, you can apply warm compresses to your affected eyelid for 10 to 15 minutes at least four times a day — this treatment may soften the hardened oils in the cysts, helping them to drain.

You can also try to help the chalazion drain by gently massaging your eyelid for several minutes a day; however, never try to push, squeeze, or “pop” the cyst.

Steroid drops from your doctor can help reduce inflammation.

If your chalazion doesn’t improve after a month or gets bigger (possibly affecting your vision), contact your optometrist.

To help you, your doctor may inject a corticosteroid (triamcinolone acetonide) into the cyst, a treatment that’s effective for non-infected chalazia.

Chalazion Removal Surgery

If your chalazion is infected, your cyst may need to be removed with surgery, in which case it will be excised from the inside of the eyelid to avoid scarring the skin.

Antibiotics are also needed to treat the infection.

Guide to Chalazion: Symptoms, Treatment, & More

Table of Contents

  • What Is a Chalazion?
  • How It Develops
  • Proper Diagnosis
  • Conservative Care
  • Treatment Options
  • Choose a Doctor

A chalazion is a bump on the eyelid, caused by a blocked oil gland. Chalazions don’t typically cause pain, but they can make the eyes feel dry and itchy. In severe cases, a chalazion can cause blurry vision. (Learn more)

Chalazions are most common in people ages 30 to 50, but anyone can develop these bumps. People with blepharitis, which can also cause eyelid swelling, are at increased risk of developing a chalazion. (Learn more)

Conservative treatment, including warm packs and massage, are often enough to make a chalazion go away. But these treatments can take weeks or even months to work, and a chalazion can come back. (Learn more)

If the bumps do not go away with conservative care, there are other treatments doctors can try. They can use surgery to drain the blocked glands, or they can use steroid injections to reduce swelling so the oil can drain away. (Learn more)

The upper and lower eyelids are dotted with glands that secrete a small amount of oil. That oil helps to lubricate the surface of the eye, so each blink can move smoothly across the surface of the eye.

Since these glands do such important work, it’s not surprising that there are many of them. According to an article published in Review of Ophthalmology, there are about 20 or 30 of these glands lining the lower lid of one eye, and there are 40 or 50 lining the upper lid of one eye.

These glands are designed to be self-cleaning. They produce and expel oil at the same rate, so there is a constant slick of oil on the surface of the eye with no backup. But there are times when this system breaks down.

A chalazion forms when one of these glands becomes clogged. The gland continues to produce oil, but the clog prevents the oil from leaving the gland. In time, oil builds up and a bump forms.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, chalazions rarely cause any kind of pain. But in time, a chalazion can grow large enough that it becomes noticeable to the naked eye. The bump can also grow so large that it presses on your eye, and that can cause blurry vision.

The American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery reports that people with a chalazion may also feel as though the eye is dry, itchy, and uncomfortable. The blocked gland is not producing the oil that’s required to keep the eye lubricated, and that can cause eye discomfort. Some people with a chalazion may also feel like they have something unusual sitting on the surface of the eye, and that sensation can also be uncomfortable.

How a Chalazion Develops

These eyelid bumps can happen to people of any age, but according to the American Optometric Association, they are most common in people ages 30 to 50. Other risk factors for these bumps include:

  • A history of rosacea.
  • Ongoing blepharitis, or inflammation of the eyelids.
  • A history of seborrheic dermatitis.
  • Tuberculosis.

The connection of chalazions to blepharitis is particularly telling. People with blepharitis have inflammation of the skin around the eyelashes, and that inflammation is accompanied by flaking and peeling. People with blepharitis are often encouraged to use warm compresses and frequent washing to reduce inflammation and to keep the eyes as healthy as possible. When those steps don’t work and blepharitis continues unchecked, it can lead to a chalazion, according to the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.

Proper Diagnosis Is Important

It might be easy to think you can diagnose a chalazion on your own at home. If you have a bump on your eyelid that doesn’t seem to hurt but does seem to be growing over time, you might reasonably assume that you have a chalazion. It’s important to know that a chalazion can look like other conditions, and some of those lookalike conditions can be quite dangerous.

For example, painless bumps on the eyelids can also be caused by cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, it is not at all uncommon for skin cancer to develop on both upper and lower eyelids. Typically, these cancers are basal cell carcinomas, and they can grow large enough to cause disfigurement.

Eyelid cancers can be treated, but the sooner they are addressed, the smaller the damage left behind. If someone mistakes a skin cancer tumor for a chalazion and delays treatment for that cancer by weeks or months, that can lead to the need for significant cancer treatment, which can be quite scarring.

Any bumps you find on your eyelids should be brought to the attention of your doctor right away. Your doctor can determine what is causing the bump, and they can help you determine the best way to make that lump fade away.

Conservative Care Can Help

According to an article published by The BMJ, most chalazions will respond to conservative therapy, and typically, that therapy takes the form of twice-per-day warm compresses.

You’ll place a washcloth under warm — not scalding hot — water, wring out that washcloth, place it over the bump on your eyelid, and hold it in place for a few minutes. The heat helps to soften the plug that is blocking your gland, and that can allow some of the oil to move out of the gland so the bump can get smaller. Your doctor may also encourage you to gently massage the eyelid to encourage the oil to move out of the blocked gland.

As much as you might be tempted to do so, you should not squeeze or pinch the bump to force the oil out. Instead, you should use gentle pressure to allow the oil to move out of your eye slowly. Squeezing or pinching can drive oil deeper into the body and make the issue worse.

This conservative therapy works just as well as more invasive forms of treatment. For example, in a study published in the journal Acta Ophthalmologica, researchers found that 21 percent of people using hot packs alone had cured a chalazion in four to six weeks. By contrast, 12 percent of those using a topical steroid and hot packs got better. Sometimes, the simplest treatments really are best.

Treatment Options Are Available if Bumps Persist

While conservative therapy can help many people to get better, this form of treatment isn’t right for everyone. Some people need a bit more help in order to get real relief from these blocked glands.

One form of therapy involves a minor surgery. The doctor makes a very small incision and removes the oil from the inside, so there is no more bump to bother the eye. In a study of the efficacy of this form of therapy, published in the journal Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, researchers found that 78 percent of patients got better with just one procedure, while 86.7 percent got better with up to two procedures.

This research makes it clear that some people need multiple surgeries in order to really clear up the bump problem, but those who get them are able to move forward quickly.

A surgery like this is not painful. In fact, according to research published in the journal Advances in Ophthalmology and Visual System, using a topical anesthetic combined with an injectable anesthetic leads to pain scores of zero in patients. Research like this demonstrates that doctors have the expertise to keep pain under control during surgery, so people can get relief from their bumps without feeling intense pain at the same time.

Some people are very averse to surgery, and some chalazions are not quite large enough to merit a surgical response. Doctors can use injections of steroids, according to research published in the Pakistan Journal of Ophthalmology, to help these patients. The steroid helps to reduce overall inflammation within the eyelid, and that can help the accumulated oil within the gland to move out.

Your doctor can help you understand the treatment options available to remove the bump on your eyelid. You can discuss what therapies make you feel comfortable and what therapies don’t seem right for you.

Your doctor may also discuss how you can prevent another bump from forming. Remember that you have many of these glands on both your upper and lower eyelids, and any of them can develop a chalazion. Your doctor may suggest that you perform a cleansing, a hot pack, and a massage every day for the rest of your life to keep this from happening to you again, or your doctor may suggest that you get treatment for the conditions that are associated with chalazion. If you have rosacea, for example, getting help for that condition could help to eliminate one of the risk factors that could lead to a future bump.

Choose a Doctor You Can Trust

Living with a chalazion isn’t easy, and you may be embarrassed to have an unsightly bump on your eyelid. You may also worry about the therapies that might be used to make the problem disappear, and you may have very strong opinions about the treatments you will or will not accept.

It is vital to work with a doctor you can trust. We can help. We have many doctors who would love to work with you, listen to you, and keep your eyes as healthy as they can possibly be. Reach out to find out more or make an appointment.

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Learn More

The Form and Function of Meibomian Glands. (May 2016). Review of Ophthalmology.

What Are Chalazia and Styes? (September 2017). American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Stye/Chalazion. American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Chalazion. American Optometric Association.

Chalazion. American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.

Focus on Eyelid Skin Cancers: Early Detection and Treatment. (September 2018). Skin Cancer Foundation.

Chalazion. (August 2010). The BMJ.

Conservative Therapy for Chalazia: Is It Really Effective? (January 2018). Acta Ophthalmologica.

Incision and Curettage Versus Steroid Injection for the Treatment of Chalazia: A Meta-Analysis. (May 2016). Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

A Simple Anesthetic Technique to Eliminate Pain and Optimize Patient Satisfaction for Chalazion Incision and Curettage. (December2017). Advances in Ophthalmology and Visual System.

Effectiveness of Intralesional Triamcinolone Acetonide in the Treatment of Chalazion. (March 2015). Pakistan Journal of Ophthalmology.

Chalazion

  • How is a chalazion diagnosed?
  • How is a chalazion treated?

A chalazion is a slowly developing lump that forms due to blockage and swelling of an oil gland in the eyelid. A chalazion is generally not an infection.
A chalazion often starts out as a very small red, tender, swollen area of the eyelid. In a few days, it may change to a painless slow-growing lump the size of a pea.
A chalazion is often confused with a stye (or hordeolum), which is an infection of an oil gland in the eyelid. A stye produces a red, swollen, painful lump on the edge or the inside of the eyelid and usually occurs closer to the surface of the eyelid than chalazia. Left untreated, a stye can result in the formation of a chalazion.
Do not attempt to squeeze or drain the chalazion yourself. You may need treatment for proper healing.
Characteristics of a chalazion:

  • Painless bump or lump in the upper eyelid or, less frequently, in the lower eyelid
  • Caused by a thickening of the fluid in the oil glands (meibomian glands) of the eyelid
  • Tearing and mild irritation may result as the obstructed glands are needed for healthy tears
  • Blurred vision, if the chalazion is large enough to press against the eyeball
  • More common in adults than children; most frequently occurs in people aged 30-50
  • Disappears without treatment within several weeks to a month, although they often recur

Risk factors include:

  • Acne rosacea
  • Chronic blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids, often from excess bacteria)
  • Seborrhea
  • Tuberculosis
  • Viral infection
  • Rarely, they may be an indication of an infection or skin cancer

How is a chalazion diagnosed?

A chalazion is best diagnosed by your eye doctor, who can advise you on treatment options. Necessary testing might include:

  • Patient history to determine symptoms and the presence of any general health problems that may be contributing to the eye problem.
  • External examination of the eye, including lid structure, skin texture and eyelash appearance.
  • Evaluation of the lid margins, base of the eyelashes and oil gland openings using bright light and magnification

How is a chalazion treated?

The good news is that many chalazia require minimal medical treatment and clear up on their own in a few weeks to a month.
Apply warm compresses to the eyelid for 10 to 15 minutes 4 to 6 times a day for several days. The warm compresses may help soften the hardened oil that is blocking the ducts and allow drainage and healing.
You can create a warm compress by dipping a clean soft cloth in warm water and then wringing it out (although you may prefer a commercially available reusable heat mask). Remoisten the cloth frequently to keep it wet and warm.
You can also gently massage the external eyelids several minutes each day to help promote drainage. Once the chalazion drains on its own, keep the area clean, and keep your hands away from your eyes.
If the chalazion does not drain and heal within a month, contact your eye doctor. Again, do not attempt to squeeze or “pop” the chalazion, as you may inadvertently do more damage.

What is a chalazion?

Eye with upper eyelid chalazion

A chalazion is a small (2-8 mm) fluid-filled swelling (cyst) in the eyelid. It is common and sometimes called a meibomian cyst or tarsal cyst. A chalazion is more common on the upper eyelid. It is possible to have several at once, in more than one eyelid. It is not the same as a stye.

Dr Sarah Jarvis MBE

What causes a chalazion?

There are tiny glands just under the inner surface of the eyelid, called meibomian glands. These make an oily fluid called meibum to help lubricate the eye. If the gland becomes blocked then the meibum cannot escape into the tears. It may expand into a swelling (cyst) and leak into the eyelid tissue. This becomes inflamed. Over time, inflammation causes a lump (or granuloma) to form in the eyelid. This is a firm, solid lump that remains for a long time. This lump is the chalazion.

Chalazion is more common in people who have the eye condition blepharitis, or skin conditions such as eczema, because in these conditions the meibum tends to be thicker so the gland is more easily blocked. See separate leaflets called Stye and Blepharitis for more details.

What are the symptoms of a chalazion?

  • The usual symptom is a small lump which develops on an eyelid.
  • Sometimes it causes mild pain or irritation, particularly if it has just started – this usually settles.
  • Rarely, it gets infected. It then becomes more swollen, red and painful.
  • Sight is not affected, although very occasionally it can become big enough to press on the eyeball and distort vision.

What is the treatment for a chalazion?

  • No treatment may be necessary as up to half of people get better without any treatment. This can take between two and six months but if the chalazion is not causing you any problems, it is probably best just to watch and wait.
  • Hot compresses help to ease discomfort. Hold a clean flannel that has been in hot water gently but firmly against the closed eye for 5-10 minutes, 3-4 times a day. Sometimes this warmth and slight pressure is enough to soften the contents of the fluid-filled swelling (cyst), helping it drain more easily. (The water should be hot but comfortable and not scalding.)
  • Antibiotic ointments, drops and medicines are not recommended as they do not make any difference – the contents of the cyst are infection-free (sterile).
  • Massage of the cyst after using a hot compress can encourage the cyst to drain. Do this gently, with a clean finger or cotton bud, in the direction of the eyelashes.
  • Cleaning the eyelid twice per day removes grease and dead skin cells that may contribute to cysts forming. A weak solution of baby shampoo in warm water is ideal.
  • A small operation is an option if it is troublesome or persistent. Your GP can refer you to an eye surgeon (ophthalmologist) for this. The operation is usually done under local anaesthetic, although children and some adults may not tolerate this and may require general anaesthetic. The eyelid is numbed. A small cut is then made on the inside of the eyelid to release the contents of the cyst and it is scraped out. After surgery antibiotic drops or ointment are commonly prescribed.

Are there any complications?

Most chalazia cause no problems. Rarely, a cyst can become infected and this infection can spread to involve the whole eyelid and tissues surrounding the eye. The eyelid may be very swollen and red. You might not be able to open the eye and you may have a lot of pain and a high temperature (fever). If you develop this type of complication, called orbital cellulitis, you need to see a medical professional urgently. Treatment of orbital cellulitis is with antibiotics, usually into a vein (intravenously) via a drip, in hospital.

Will it happen again?

For most people a chalazion occurs just once. However, some people are prone to developing them and they may come back (recur). You may be able to prevent this by using a hot compress on the eyelids (described above) and massaging the eyelids each morning.

Chalazion (meibomian cyst)

A chalazion is a firm round lump in the upper or lower eyelid caused by a chronic inflammation/blockage of the meibomian gland. It can sometimes be mistaken for a stye. Unless acutely infected, it is harmless and nearly all resolve if given enough time.

Symptoms

  • Eyelid swelling or lump
  • Eyelid tenderness
  • If inflamed, eye can be red, watering and sore
  • Heaviness of the eyelid

Signs

  • Tender or non-tender round swelling, can be red, on or within the eyelid +/- mild conjunctivitis

Eye examination

  • Examine lids and conjunctiva with a white light
  • Watch out for spreading lid cellulitis
  • The presence of a chalazion is confirmed

Treatment

  • Give patient chalazion information leaflet
  • Show patient how to apply a warm compress which can be used to increase drainage of the affected gland
  • Show the patient how to gently massage after warm compress to help to express the contents of the cyst
  • If acutely inflamed, prescribe chloramphenicol ointment tds 1-2 weeks
  • Chalazia will often disappear without further treatment within a few months and virtually all will re-absorb within two years
  • If conservative therapy fails, chalazia can be treated by surgical incision into the tarsal gland followed by curettage of the retained secretions and inflammatory material under local anaesthetic

Last updated: 16th November 2017

Styes And Chalazions

What Is It?

Published: April, 2019

A sty, also called hordeolum, is a small abscess of the oil gland associated with an eyelash hair follicle. It typically contains Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, the cause of staph infections. When a sty develops, a small area of the upper or lower eyelid or the corner of the eye becomes red, tender and swollen. Swelling subsides gradually over a period of days after the sty develops an opening, and the pus is able to drain out.

A chalazion, like a sty, is a swelling within the eyelid caused by inflammation of an oil gland. A chalazion differs from a sty in that it does not contain an active bacterial infection. A chalazion is sometimes the after effect of a sty. It is less tender but lasts longer.

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Chalazia and styes are bumps that occur on the eye lid from clogged and infected oil glands or lash follicles. They can range from mild to severe and cause discomfort or pain.

Chalazia vs. styes

Sometimes it can be hard to distinguish the difference between chalazia and styes. Both are bumps that form on the eye lid. The main differences are where the bump is and the amount of pain it causes.

Styes

A stye, also known as a hordeolum, is a painful lump that grows on your lash line or just under your eyelid. It is typically small, pink or red, and causes a great deal of discomfort.

Internal stye

Internal styes are typically caused by an infected oil producing gland. They occur under the eyelid and most frequently near the lash line.

External stye

External styes are typically caused by an infected eyelash follicle. They occur at the base of the eyelashes and may look like a pimple.

Stye symptoms

An internal stye may be difficult to recognize as it may have very mild symptoms, especially if it remains small. If your stye is external you may notice more signs of infection.

  • Painful bump near the eye lashes
    • May be red, swollen and tender
  • Discharge at the center of the bump
  • Crust that forms around the eyelid
  • Sensation of something in the eye
  • Increased tear production

Chalazia

A chalazion is a swollen lump on your eyelid. Overtime the lump may become red and tender to the touch. Often, a chalazion forms from an internal stye. A large chalazion may cause blurry vision.

Chalazion symptoms

  • Painful bump on the eyelid
    • May be red, swollen and tender
  • Blurry vision
  • Crust that forms around the eye lid
  • Sensation of something in the eye
  • Increased tear production

When to see your doctor

Visit your doctor if your chalazion or stye does not begin to heal within a few days, or gets worse.

If you have any of the following symptoms, see your doctor:

  • Severe eye pain
  • Blurry vision or trouble seeing
  • An eyelid that won’t fully open
  • A very swollen or red eye
  • A stye or chalazion that won’t go away

If you get chalazia or styes often, you should also visit your doctor.

How to treat chalazia and styes

Many treatment options are available depending on the severity of your chalazion or stye. Mild cases may go away on their own within a few days, without treatment from your doctor.

It is important that you do not try to squeeze or pop chalazia and styes yourself. Try your best to prevent spreading the infection. Do not wear eye makeup or contact lenses until your infection heals. Only touch the area with clean hands and wash your hands afterwards.

Warm compress

Treat chalazia and styes with warm compresses.

  1. Soak a wash cloth with very warm water and put it over the infected area for about 10 minutes. It may be helpful to microwave the cloth for 10 seconds or so to keep it warm.
  2. Use compresses a few times per day to open the clogged gland and allow the infected area to drain and heal.
  3. After using a warm compress, it may be helpful to gently massage around the area to promote draining.

Over-the-counter treatments

Creams and ointments are available to treat chalazia and styes. You may also prefer to wash the area gently with a little bit of watered-down baby shampoo.

For severe chalazia and styes

Very swollen chalazia or styes may be treated with the following methods by your doctor.

  • Antibiotics
  • Steroid shots
  • Surgery

How to prevent chalazia and styes

Follow these tips to help prevent chalazia and styes.

  • Don’t rub or touch your eyes
  • Use clean hands when handling contact lenses
  • Wash your make-up off before bed
  • Replace your make-up every six months

Chalazion: Bump on eyelid causes and treatments

Conditions

By Brian Chou, OD

A chalazion is a painless bump on your eyelid. It can affect the upper or lower eyelid.

Chalazia (plural for chalazion) result from healed internal styes that no longer are infectious. These cyst-like eyelid bumps form around an oil gland within the lid and can cause red, swollen eyelids.

The contents of a chalazion include pus and blocked fatty secretions (lipids) that normally help lubricate the eye but can no longer drain out.

Many chalazia drain, resolving on their own. You can help this process along by applying warm compresses to your eyelid. Gently massaging the lid can help, too.

But some chalazia persist for more than several weeks and grow large enough to become cosmetically unappealing.

A large chalazion may press on the cornea, temporarily causing astigmatism and blurry vision.

It’s often impossible to know what causes a chalazion. Risk factors include blepharitis and rosacea.

People with rosacea — characterized by facial redness and swollen bumps under the skin — are prone to have certain eye problems such as blepharitis and chalazia.

Rosacea can affect eyelids, the eye’s thin outer membrane (conjunctiva), the clear eye surface (cornea) and the white of the eye (sclera).

Rosacea that affects the eye and surrounding tissues is called ocular rosacea.

Causes of rosacea itself can be difficult to pinpoint, although environment and inherited tendencies are likely factors. Certain microorganisms living in or near eyelash roots also may exacerbate inflammation around the eye.

If you develop a chalazion, see an eye doctor to determine the best way to get rid of this annoying bump on your eyelid.

NEED AN EYE EXAM? Find an eye doctor near you and schedule an appointment.

In addition to providing instructions for how to apply warm compresses to your eyelid, to help get rid of an eyelid bump, your doctor may prescribe a topical medication. If you are prone to blepharitis, instructions for routine cleaning of your eyelids also may be given. In some cases, even oral medications may be recommended to reduce risk factors for getting chalazia.

The most commonly prescribed oral medicines for blepharitis and meibomian gland dysfunction are antibiotics such as doxycycline.

Topical and oral antibiotics usually are ineffective as direct treatments for chalazia, which have no active infectious component that would require this kind of approach.

Small, inconspicuous eyelid bumps may require no treatment at all. However, some blockages causing chalazia do not clear up on their own. These may cause the eyelid bumps to be persistent or even grow larger.

In the case of a bothersome and persistent chalazion, your eye doctor may recommend a simple in-office surgery to excise it.

An eye surgeon will use local anesthesia to numb the area before making a small incision, typically from underneath the eyelid to clear the contents of the eyelid bump without visible scarring.

An alternate procedure involves injecting the chalazion with corticosteroid to get rid of the bump on your eyelid. A potential side effect of steroid injection is lightening of the surrounding skin, which can be more problematic in dark-skinned people.

In cases where a chalazion recurs in the same part of the eyelid or has a suspicious appearance, the removed tissue may be sent to a laboratory to rule out cancerous growth. Fortunately, most bumps on eyelids are benign and harmless.

Page updated July 2019

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Here you can see a draining chalazion of the upper eyelid. Chalazions occur from a blockage of one of the oil-producing meibomian glands at the lid margin. The static oil then incites a non-infectious granulomatous inflammation in the lid that creates a non-tender bump.

Small chalazions can often be treated with warm compresses and lid massage. Larger ones require drainage for better cosmesis.

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drainingchalazion.wmv (8.4meg, Windows video file)

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This photo shows a large chalazion on the latteral aspect of the upper eyelid. This chalazion is acute, in that it is very large and draining. This particular lesion is non-tender, however, it is still draining. Some may call this a hordeolum, though there is not much inflammation or redness.This photo shows a draining chazion on the inner portion of the upper eyelid. This particular chalazion has been spontaneously draining for some time.This chalazion is draining on the inside of the eyelid.

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