Chalazion

Image of a large red bump on an eyelid.

A chalazion is the medical term for a slowly developing lump on the eyelid that occurs due to an oil gland blockage. At first, the eyelid may appear to be red, tender and swollen. After several days, the chalazion will form on the eyelid, appearing as a slow growing lump. While it is initially painless and nearly impossible to detect, with steady growth, the chalazion may reach the size of pea. Chalazia are most common in adults between the ages of 30 to 50, although individuals of all ages, including children, can develop a chalazion.

Initially, chalazia can be difficult to diagnose as they are often confused with styes. A stye is also a red, swollen lump along the eyelid. However, styes are located on the edge of the eyelid or inside the eyelid’s immediate surface. They are more painful than a chalazion and typically occur closer to the eyelid’s surface. A stye is caused by an infection of the oil gland within the eyelid; a chalazion, in contrast, is caused by a blockage in the actual oil gland.

Causes and Risk Factors

Glands within the eyelids known as the meibomian glands naturally produce oil. Should a blockage within these glands occur, oil will build up inside the gland and eventually thicken, forming a lump known as a chalazion. In some cases, the gland may even break open, releasing the oil into the surrounding eyelid tissue, which causes inflammation. In some cases having a stye can also result in a chalazion. Risk factors for chalazion development include conditions associated with excessive oil production, such as seborrhea and acne rosacea. A viral infection, tuberculosis, and chronic blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids and lashes) also increase the risk for developing a chalazion.

Diagnosis and Treatment

In some cases, a chalazion will resolve itself over the course of several weeks without the need for medical intervention. At-home remedies can speed the healing process. For example, an eye care provider may recommend the application of a warm compress to the eyelid for 10 to 15 minutes four to six times per day. Warmth from the compress can help soften the hardened oil that is blocking the gland, facilitating the healing process. Light massage on the external area of the eyelid may also help to facilitate drainage. Never attempt to squeeze or drain a chalazion by yourself. If the chalazion does not heal within one month, contact your eye doctor for additional medical care.

Locations

Find us on the map

No Hours settings found. Please configure it

Norfolk Office Hours

Monday:

7:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

7:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

10:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

7:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

7:00 am-2:00 pm

Saturday:

8:30 am-12:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Closed

Pierce Office Hours

Tuesday:

9:00 am-4:30 pm

Randolph Office Hours

Wednesday:

10:00 am-4:30 pm

Testimonials

Reviews From Our Satisfied Patients

  • "The secrateries, staff, and doctors were all very kind and helpful. I can't give 5 stars however because I had a very long wait and I wished the lady helping me pick my eye glasses would have talked about the prices and asked for my budget before pulling out a bunch of frames to try on."
    Jessica W.
  • "FROM ENTERING TO LEAVING MY WIFE AND I WERE COMPLETELY SATISFIED WITH ALL AREAS OF THE PROCESS. THEY ACCTUALLY WORKED ME IN BECAUSE I HAD THE WRONG DAY FOR MY APPT"
    Timothy R.
  • "Friendly people and easy to work with! Great Experience with them! I really liked how my wait time was only a few minutes as well."
    Blake W.