Chalazion

General Illness Information


Common Name:

Chalazion

Medical Term: None Specified.

Description: Chronic inflammation of the meibomian gland in the eyelid.  Meibomian glands are long thin oil glands found in the eyelid, and serve to lubricate the lid margins.

Causes: Blockage of a duct leading to the surface of the eyelid from the meibomian gland. The blockage may be due to infection (usually staphylococcal) around the duct opening.

Prevention: If you have a tendency to get chalazions, wash eyelash area daily with water and baby shampoo applied with a cotton swab. At the first sign of eye irritation, apply warm compresses several times a day.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Painful focal tenderness of one eyelid.
  • Mild redness of the white of the eye (conjunctivitis).

Risk Factors

Skin conditions such as acne rosacea or seborrheic dermatitis.

Diagnosis & Treatment

General Measures:

  • Use warm-water soaks to reduce inflammation and hasten healing. Apply soaks for 20 minutes, then rest at least 1 hour. Repeat as often as needed.
  • If the chalazion does not heal spontaneously in 6 weeks, surgical removal under local anesthesia in the doctor’s office may be a recommended treatment.

Medications:

  • Topical antibiotic ointments or creams, such as erythromycin or bacitracin may be prescribed. Apply a thin layer of medication to the lid edges 3 or 4 times daily. A heavy layer wastes medicine and is no more beneficial than a thin layer.
  • Antibiotic eye drops to prevent the spread of infection to other parts of the eye. Oral antibiotics or antibiotic injections usually are not needed.

Activity:

No restrictions.

Diet:

No special diet.

Possible Complications :

None expected.

Prognosis

A chalazion may heal spontaneously. If not, it is usually curable with surgical removal.

Other

Nothing specified.