A chalazion, also known as a Meibomian gland lipogranuloma, is a cyst in the eyelid that is caused by inflammation of the meibomian gland, usually on the upper eyelid. Chalazions differ from hordeolums in that they are usually painless apart from the tenderness caused when they swell up. A chalazion may eventually disappear on its own after a few months, though more often than not, some treatment is necessary. more...
Signs and symptoms
- Painful swelling on the eyelid
- Eyelid tenderness
- Sensitivity to light
- Increased tearing
The primary treatment is application of warm compresses for 10 - 20 minutes at least 4 times a day. This may soften the hardened oils blocking the duct and promote drainage and healing.
Topical antibiotic eye drops or ointment (eg chloramphenicol or fusidic acid) are sometimes used for the initial acute infection, but are otherwise of little value in treating a chalazion. Chalazia will often disappear without further treatment within a month or so.
If they continue to enlarge or fail to settle within a few months, they may be surgically removed using local anesthesia. This is usually done from underneath the eyelid to avoid a scar on the skin. Rarely chalazia may reoccur and these will be biopsied to help rule out tumors.
A large chalazion can cause astigmatism due to pressure on the cornea. This will resolve with resolution of the chalazion.
Proper cleansing of the eyelid may prevent recurrences in people prone to chalazia. Cleaning the eyelash area with diluted baby shampoo will help reduce clogging of the ducts.
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