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Chalazion

Chalazia or its singular form, chalazion, are benign painless bumps that occur inside the upper or lower eyelid. Chalazion stem from healed or internal styes that no long pose a threat of infection. Some instances of chalazion form from clogged oil glands near the eye.

Chalazia normally heal on their own but if they remain persistent, treatment from a doctor may be necessary to clear them up.

What Causes Chalazion?

Chalazion are made up of pus and blocked fatty secretions called lipids that are meant to help lubricate the eye. For reasons that are unknown, the glands become blocked and the fluid is not able to drain from the eye. In some instances, infection or a style develops which leads to a bulbous protrusion on the eyelid.

Other factors known to cause chalazion are:

  • Blepharitis or eye inflammation
  • Rosacea which can cause redness and swollen bumps under the skin
  • Certain micro organisms living near the eyelash that cause inflammation
  • Rubbing eyelids with dirty hands

Signs And Symptoms To Look Out For

Some people with chalazion will show no symptoms at all. For those that believe they may have the condition, look for the following:

  • A tender spot on the eyelid
  • A hard lump on the eyelid that seems to appear from nowhere
  • Tearing of the eyes
  • Blurry or reduced vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensation of a foreign object or debris within the eye

Diagnosing And Treating Chalazion

In most cases your doctor or Optometrist will be able to diagnose if you have chalazion. Often times bumps on the eyelid can be caused by other eye conditions including:

  • Stye – A bacterial infection caused by blocked glands of the upper and lower eyelid. Styes resemble a pimple or small bump
  • Milia – Tiny white pinhead sized bumps that form from trapped skin cells around the eye
  • Xanthelasma – Flat yellow growths of the eyelid caused by the build up of a fatty deposits beneath the skin

Chalazion usually heal on their own without any treatment. This can take anywhere from several weeks to a month. For those cases where self healing is not an option, we highly recommend you visit one of our Optometrists for an eye exam.

If you are looking for temporary relief, try a warm compress for 10-15 minutes multiple times a day. The warmth from the washcloth can soothe the affected area.

Treatments such as ointments, oral medications, or steroid injections can be prescribed by a doctor if symptoms persist. As a last resort, surgery can be performed  to drain or fully remove the chalazion.