Can a chalazion affect vision?

Written by: Mr Myer Mark Yodaiken
Edited by: Conor Lynch

In this article below, esteemed consultant ophthalmologist, Mr Myer Mark Yodaiken, discusses chalazions at length, including what they are, as well as an outlining of the associated symptoms and treatment options.


What is a chalazion, and what causes it?

A chalazion, otherwise known as a meibomian gland cyst, is a small, raised, red lump that appears on the eyelid. Chalazions are typically caused by underlying meibomian gland dysfunction/blepharitis which is why people can get recurring chalazia.


How does a chalazion differ from a stye (or hordeolum)?

A chalazion is a blocked meibomian gland which swells and can sometimes become infected, leading to even more swelling and discomfort. A stye, on the other hand, is usually an infection at the base of the eyelash or near to the eyelash and can be uncomfortable or painful.

What are the common symptoms of a chalazion?

An uninfected chalazion is not generally painful, and it is actually the cosmetic impact which makes patients seek help. It can, however, become quite sore if there is infection or a lot of inflammation, and depending on the size and location, a chalazion can also affect your vision by pressing on the cornea.


What are the available treatments for managing a chalazion?

Treatment depends on whether there is simply a cyst or if the cyst is infected. Many chalazions will go away by themselves within a month or so without treatment. If they don’t, it’s important to seek specialist treatment, as an untreated chalazion can make you more likely to develop cellulitis around the eye (preseptal cellulitis).


Other treatment options include a steroid (Kenalog) injection to the cyst. If the steroid injection isn't enough, or if the chalazion is particularly big or long-standing, incision and curettage surgery will be needed.


Can a chalazion affect vision?

If a chalazion gets big enough to press on the eyeball, it can cause blurred vision due to the effects of direct contact with the cornea. This risk is significantly increased by a chalazion that is greater than 5 mm in size. If the blocked gland makes the surface of the eye become dry (due to lack of oil) vision can also get blurred due to the imperfect tear film.


If you wish to book an appointment with Mr Myer Mark Yodaiken today, you can do just that via his Top Doctors profile. 

By Mr Myer Mark Yodaiken

Mr Myer Mark Yodaiken is an experienced consultant ophthalmologist based in London and Manchester. With over 30 years of experience, Mr Yodaiken is an expert in the treatment of dry eye, blepharitis, macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.

He qualified from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, going on to complete specialist training as an ophthalmologist. He later moved to the United Kingdom, furthering his training in medical retina at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and completing fellowships in anterior segment surgery and age-related macular degeneration. Mr Yodaiken worked at Stepping Hill Hospital from 2002 to 2007 as a consultant with a special interest in medical retina. He is a member of a number of esteemed ophthalmology associations, including the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons. Following a career in the NHS, he now sees patients privately at the Alexandra Hospital, The Harley Street Eye Centre, and in his own consulting rooms.  

He specialises in the treatment of dry eyes, age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), and glaucoma, as well as being an expert on meibomian gland disease, a type of blepharitis. Mr Yodaiken’s ARMD patients benefit from a holistic approach, including not only monitoring using OCT photography and treatment with Avastin, Lucentis or Eylea; but also diet and lifestyle advice appropriate to the condition. His Dry Eyes clinic offers Lipiflow treatment, which is the best heat-based treatment for opening glands, evacuating oils, and kick-starting the glands again. He is also one of the few specialists in the UK who undertakes meibomian gland probing for patients with advanced meibomian gland dysfunction. Glaucoma patients are offered modern laser procedures to eliminate or reduce the need for long-term topical drop administration. He also offers surgery including modern shunts, as well as conventional glaucoma surgery. 

Mr Yodaiken combines compassion and dedication with expert care. Driven by a genuine desire to help improve his patients’ eye health, he believes that every patient deserves the best, regardless of their age. Self-referrals are welcome. 

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