What is a chalazion?

A chalazion is a small, painless lump which grows on the eyelid. Unlike a stye, a chalazion is not caused by infection but by a gland in the eyelid becoming clogged.

Chalazions often go away on their own after a few months, but there are some treatment options if it is causing symptoms such as:

  • mild pain or irritation
  • blurred vision or part of your vision becoming blocked

Conservative treatments

You can often help treat a chalazion yourself with heat compression treatment. This involves soaking a cotton wool pad in hot water and gently pressing it against your eyelid, taking care not to get hot water in your eye. The pressure and heat can sometimes cause the chalazion to release its content.

If this hasn’t worked, your doctor can prescribe you antibiotics to reduce any inflammation.

Surgical treatment

If the treatments above haven’t worked, surgery may be required.

Surgery to remove chalazion is quick and can be carried out at an eye clinic. You’ll be asked to lie down on a couch and you will be given eye drops to numb the area around your eye. The surgeon will then make a very small incision to remove the chalazion from the eyelid.

After the procedure your eye will be bruised for a few days, and you’ll need to take antibiotic ointments a few times throughout the day to make sure that the eye doesn’t become infected. The risks of complications from surgery are very low and any complications that do occur will be minor.

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