The word Chalazion refers to inflammation within the fats of the glands of the eyelid which is generally non-infectious in origin. This inflammation generally occurs when the mouth of the eyelid gland is blocked by infection or debris.
A chalazion can develop when something blocks a small oil gland in the eyelid. The glands are responsible for keeping the eyes moist. When a gland is blocked, the eyes become swollen. Over time, the fluid will drain, and you will likely have a hard lump on your eyelid.
Chalazion may also occur because of:
- Rosacea (skin condition that causes redness and acne)
- Chronic blepharitis, eyelid inflammation (redness, swelling and irritation)
- Seborrheic dermatitis (red, dry, flaky and itchy skin)
- Tuberculosis (TB)
- Viral infections
If you are suffering from, you may experience one or a few of the following:
- A painless swelling on the eyelid which may increase in size as time passes
- A small nodule may be felt within the eye
- There may be a swelling or an ulcerated lesion on the inside of the eyelid
- Blurry vision may occur if the swelling becomes big enough to compromise the visual apparatus of the eye
- If the chalazion gets infection, then there might be:
- Pain in the swelling
- Touching the eyelid will elicit pain
- Red eyelids with pus coming out of the eyelid margins
The diagnosis of conjunctivitis is mainly made clinically by the ophthalmologist. However, laboratory analysis of substances taken from your eye may be done. Your doctor may also evaluate the condition of your eye using different medical apparatus.
Depending on the severity and etiology of the disease, your doctor may prescribe:
- Warm compresses
- Eye drops to reduce inflammation
- Eye drops to treat infection
- Anti-inflammatory injections may be given to the lesion itself
- Oral medication may be prescribed to treat underlying causes that may be causing the disease
- The lesion may be surgically excised followed by antibiotic and/or anti-inflammatory eye drops to completely treat the condition
Chalazion is generally a benign disease and may, in a few cases, resolve by itself. However, in some cases it may lead to a few complications like blurry vision or hardening of the eyelid swelling. It may also become infected which can lead to serious consequences for the involved eye. In order to prevent these serious complications, it is important to go to the doctor for an eye check up as soon as symptoms are noted.
Are chalazions preventable?
Following good hygiene may prevent you from getting a chalazion. Among the most important aspects of good hygiene are:
- Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. Always wash your hands before touching your eyes.
- You should wash your hands before removing your contact lenses. Cleaning your contacts with a disinfectant and lens cleaning solution is essential. Throw away your contacts on time if you use them daily or for short periods.
- Wash your face before going to bed to remove dirt and makeup. If you’re prone to blepharitis, your healthcare provider may recommend cleaning your eyelids with a special scrub or baby shampoo.
- Expired or old makeup should be thrown away. Eye shadow and mascara should be replaced every two to three months. Never use or share someone else’s makeup.
Conditions that mimic:
Although Chalazion is mainly a benign condition, its symptoms overlap with a few very serious conditions of the eye. When you go for a check-up, your physician will first and foremost exclude these conditions to ensure that your sight is not threatened in any way. These conditions include:
- Infection of the eyelid, fungi may especially be involved
- Tumors of the eyelid skin may also present as swelling. It should be noted, however, that these tumors can be benign or malignant.
- Jordan GA, Beier K. Chalazion. [Updated 2021 Aug 9]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499889/
Disclaimer: The information on this blog is intended to educate and inform and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Prior to acting on the information provided on this blog, you should consult your doctor/healthcare professional.