A chalazion is a swelling in the eyelid caused by inflammation of one of the small oil producing glands (meibomian glands) located in the upper and lower eyelids. A chalazion is sometimes called a stye, although technically a stye is an acute inflammation of a lash follicle rather than an eyelid gland. Anyone can develop a stye or chalazion, but people with other conditions such as blepharitis, history of previous chalazia, acne rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis and diabetes are more prone to developing either.
What are the common symptoms of a Chalazion?
Symptoms of chalazia include eyelid tenderness and redness as well as irritation and scratchiness in the eye. Tearing, crusting and mild light sensitivity can also occur. Many chalazia and styes resolve on their own without treatment and most can be cured with the application of warm compresses many times a day. About 30% will need surgical drainage in the office.
What is the treatment for a Chalazion?
Treatment with warm compresses should be started immediately upon first noticing a chalazion. A clean washcloth should be heated with very warm water and then held against the closed lid for five minutes or so and used to gently massage the lid. The washcloth will need to be rewarmed during this time since it is the heat that is doing most of the work. This should be done four to five times a day until resolution of the problem.