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Chalazion (Lump in Eyelid) (cont.)

How Do Health Care Professionals Diagnose a Chalazion?

A health care provider will take a detailed patient health history and perform a physical examination. The medical examination includes vision testing of each eye and an inspection of the face, eyelids, and the eye itself. If you have frequent chalazion infections, your health care provider might perform a more thorough examination and order blood tests (to check for chronic illnesses such as diabetes).

Are There Chalazion Home Remedies?

  • Applying a warm compress to the affected area of the eyelid is the best treatment. Hold a warm compress on the eyelid for 15 minutes, four times a day. This will promote drainage of the gland.
  • The warm compress can be a towel soaked in warm water (though it will have to be rewarmed frequently), a microwavable eye pad (sold in most pharmacies), or an electric heating pad or blanket. It should be warm but not hot. Chemicals like apple cider vinegar and Epsom salts are not recommended as they may further irritate the delicate eyelid skin.
  • Lightly massaging the affected area after the warm compress treatment may also help.
  • Do not pop, poke, stab, puncture, pinch, or scratch the chalazion. Doing so could create scar tissue and make the gland prone to re-clogging.
  • Be patient. A chalazion can take weeks or even months to completely resolve.
  • If your eye doctor finds that you have either meibomian gland disease or blepharitis, you'll get medical advice on how best to treat so you can reduce the odds of forming another chalazion in the future.
  • Be sure to seek medical attention right away for the signs of serious infection mentioned above.

What Is Are Chalazion Treatment Options? Does Surgery Treat Chalazia?

The initial treatment is warm compresses and treatment of any chronic inflammation from meibomian gland dysfunction or blepharitis. You'll be instructed to apply warm compresses as mentioned above (see Home Remedies). This is the safest way to treat the chalazion without forming scar tissue, which could make the gland vulnerable to future clogging.

A health care provider will prescribe antibiotic eyedrops or ointments if a bacterial eye infection is present. If there is no improvement after several days or weeks of warm compresses, more aggressive treatment may be offered.

Injection of a steroid into the chalazion may help decrease the inflammation and speed its resolution. You'll still need to continue frequent warm compresses following the steroid injection. There are some risks with steroid injection, such as bruising or permanent discoloration of the skin overlying the injection site. The chalazion can also be debulked surgically by incision and drainage. This is usually reserved as a last resort. The ophthalmologist will inject a numbing medication and secure a small clamp on the lid. The eyelid is then everted, and an incision in made on the back side of the lid. The oily contents of the gland are then removed with a curette instrument. Surgery recovery is usually quick but warm compresses should be continued for a few more days to soften any residual trapped oil.

Patients who develop multiple chalazia or recurrent chalazia may have an underlying abnormality in the oil glands, such as meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) or blepharitis. Your eye doctor can make that diagnosis with a slit lamp examination. . MGD is often associated with acne rosacea of the face. Treatment involves daily warm compresses, baby shampoo lid scrubs, and possible use of long-term low-dose oral antibiotics in the tetracycline family like doxycycline or minocycline to alter the consistency of the oils produced by the glands. Children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding cannot safely use oral tetracyclines.

If your doctor finds signs of preseptal cellulitis (infection spreading from the chalazion to the surrounding skin), an oral antibiotic will be prescribed. If the infection spreads posteriorly into the orbit, urgent treatment with intravenous antibiotics and possible hospitalization will be necessary.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/8/2017

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Chalazion »

A chalazion (Greek for hailstone) is a lipogranuloma of either a meibomian gland or a Zeis gland.

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