Doctor's Notes on Chalazion (Lump in Eyelid)
A chalazion is a bump or lump in the upper or lower eyelid that arises due to inflammation of a gland of the lid known as a Meibomian gland. Other names for a chalazion include Meibomian cyst, tarsal cyst, or conjunctival granuloma. The cause of a chalazion is blockage of the thin opening through which a Meibomian gland of the eyelid secretes its material. The blockage can either be related to narrowing of the opening or hardening of the sebaceous fluid near the opening.
Associated symptoms and signs include a small bump on the eyelid that can be soft or firm. A chalazion is usually not painful. There may be fluid inside the lump. If the blocked gland becomes infected with bacteria, it may become tender to the touch. An infected chalazion is known as a hordeolum or stye.
What Is the Treatment for Chalazion?
Most chalazions can be managed with application of warm compresses to the eyelid to increase the circulation of blood to the inflamed area, encourage drainage, and promote healing. In some cases, antibiotic eye drops or ointment may be recommended for use after the compresses.
Surgical procedures under local anesthesia can be used to treat a persistent chalazion that causes a lump in the eyelid. An alternative to surgery involves administering a steroid injection into the affected gland (known as an intralesional injection) to lower the inflammation.
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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.