Chalazion - Symptoms, Causes, Prevention, Treatment


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What is Chalazion?

A chalazion (plural: chalazia), also known as eyelid cyst or meibomian cyst, is a minor, red swelling or bump on your eyelid. A chalazion is most likely to form on the upper eyelid but may occasionally form on the lower eyelid. You can even get them on both eyes at once.

What are the Causes of Chalazion?

  1. Inflammation of the meibomian glands is the primary cause of chalazion.
  2. Meibomian glands in your upper and lower eyelids produce oil to keep the eye moist. If the glands are blocked, it retains oils and swells, causing a hard lump on your eyelid called a chalazion. 


What are the Symptoms of Chalazion?

At first, the chalazion may be red, swollen, and painful when touched. But after a few days, only the bumps remain, and the pain goes away. The symptoms of a chalazion include:-

  1. Painless lump in your eyelid
  2. Blurred vision
  3. Mild irritation
  4. Watery eyes

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What are the Risk Factors of Chalazion?

The risk factors of getting chalazion are:-

  1. Viral infections
  2. Tuberculosis
  3. Health conditions like diabetes
  4. Viral conjunctivitis
  5. Seborrheic dermatitis (a skin condition that causes an itchy rash)
  6. Acne rosacea (a long-term skin condition that affects the face)
  7. Chronic blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids)
  8. Have had chalazion before

How is Chalazion Diagnosed?

There are no special tests to diagnose chalazia. Your doctor will make the diagnosis based on your symptoms, and any eye problems in the past.

The eye specialist will look for the following while diagnosing Chalazion:

  1. Health history: To assess any underlying issues that could be an underlying cause for chalazion.
  2. External eye exam: The doctor will check your eye, eyelid and eyelashes.
  3. Thorough eyelid exam: With a bright light and a magnifying glass, your doctor will look at the base of your eyelashes and also examine the oil glands’ openings for any blockage.
How is Chalazion Diagnosed?  || image

What are Non-Surgical Treatment Options for treating Chalazion?

In most cases, you do not require treatment of chalazion as it tends to clear on its own in a few weeks. In the meantime, do not try to squeeze or pop the lump as it can lead to an injury or infection in the eye. If your eye specialist does suggest treatment, options may include home care or medical treatment. 

Home Treatment

  1. Warm Compresses: Wet a clean cloth in warm water and apply the damp cloth to the eyelid for 10-15 minutes. Do it 3 to 4 times a day until the swelling decreases. 
  2. Please note: Do not reuse the cloth. Use a clean cloth for each compress. 
  3. Gentle Massage: Gently massaging your eyelids a few times a day can help open up the blocked oil glands. Ensure to wash your hands thoroughly before massaging for several minutes, using light to medium pressure. 
  4. Eye Wash: Wash your eyelids with a mild soap, such as over-the-counter eyelid scrubs or baby shampoo, to keep the area clean. 

Medical Treatment

  1. If your chalazion does not go away even after a few weeks with home treatment, your doctor may suggest eye drops or eyelid creams to use. 
  2. They may also give you steroid injections to reduce the swelling if other treatments do not work. 
  3. In severe cases, they may need to drain the fluid by making a small incision.

What are the Benefits of treating Chalazion?

  1. Removal of upper eyelid chalazion prevents blurring of vision from induced astigmatism 
  2. For cosmetic reasons
  3. Help relieves pain and underlying symptoms
  4. Lowers the chances of secondary infection
  5. Reduces the risk of progression of the disease 



What may happen if Chalazion is left untreated?

Risks of Delay in Treatment for Chalazion

A chalazion is not at all harmful. If left untreated, it eventually heals by itself. But this may take several months, causing infections, discomfort, and blurred vision. Children can also pick it, leading to concurrent cellulitis, which can be dangerous. 

Progression of Chalazion

A chalazion is a lump that slowly develops and goes through the following two stages:-

  1. It often starts as a tiny, red, tender, and swollen area on the eyelid.
  2. After a few days, the chalazion will appear as a slow-growing, painless lump and reach the size of a pea. 

If you have a chalazion that does not drain with home treatment, you should visit your eye specialist. Seek medical care if you experience these symptoms of chalazion:-

  1. Rapidly spreading swelling
  2. Severe pain
  3. Changes in vision
  4. Recurring chalazion
  5. Fever


Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

MBBS, DNB General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, FIAGES

12 Years Experience

Dr Aman Priya Khanna is a well-known General Surgeon, Proctologist and Bariatric Surgeon currently associated with HealthFort Clinic, Health First Multispecialty Clinic in Delhi. He has 12 years of experience in General Surgery and worke...View More


Rajath R Prabhu

Rajath R Prabhu

MSc. Clinical Research I PG Diploma in Public Health Services Management

3 Years Experience

His work in medical content writing and proofreading is noteworthy. He has also contributed immensely to public health research and has authored four scientific manuscripts in international journals. He was assoc...View More

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